Apparently Microsoft isn’t a big fan of abuse. In fact, they will go as far as changing an entire product offering because of the few users that abuse it to the point of it being something more than abuse. Case in point, yesterday, Microsoft announced that they will be changing their OneDrive storage amounts beginning in 2016 due to the fact that some users have uploaded nearly 75TB (yes that would be TERRABYTES) of data. That works out to 75,000,000 MB or roughly, 25 million songs worth of data. This is the reasoning that Microsoft is using to change up their OneDrive storage options going into next year.
First off, the unlimited plans that are currently included with an Office365 subscription will be dropped to 1TB of data. This should still be plenty of data for anyone that is actually using the service as it was intended. The TB of storage should be enough to back up mobile device photos, store online documents and even keep those backup settings that are used to restore a Windows PC or Windows Mobile device. Next, the free plans will drop from 15GB of storage back to 5GB as they were in the beginning of the program. This is probably the most painful drop of the bunch, but if you aren’t generating revenue for the Redmond giant, you probably don’t get much of a vote. When you compare the 5GB limit to the 2GB limit that DropBox offers, it’s not such a bad deal. DropBox does offer a few ways to quickly earn that additional 3GB of storage, but face it, unless you buy into some promotion, DropBox will run you $10 per TB. Google Drive has much the same going for it. The 15GB starting point is higher, but that might not be enough to put up with the clunky backup experience that Drive offers.
That said, many users will probably skip out on Microsoft’s cloud solution service from here on out simply due to the fact that space they “earned” is being taken away from them. Whether it was the 15GB photo upload bonus or the 10GB additional storage they’ve enjoyed for the last few years to compete with Google’s starting level, losing precious online backup space isn’t something that many will enjoy. It isn’t all bad news though, if you received a promotional balance, like the 100GB loyalty bonus or the 100GB package from Bing Rewards, your storage is safe until the expiration date. For those that don’t have the extra space saved up, Microsoft has said that the notifications will go out in January. You will then continue to have access to your file space for 90 days. The space will then become a read-only drive for the next 180 days. The final 90 days will be your last warning before they are deleted. So even with the 12 month period that Microsoft is giving users to either upgrade or transition, it’s important to develop a transition plan. Also, if you are an affected user, you can sign up for a free one year trial of Office 365 as a “We’re sorry,” offering from Microsoft. This offer will include the 1TB of storage, but is only valid for 1 year. After that the regular subscription price of $9.99 a month will apply. There will also be a 50GB plan available for a $1.99 a month fee as well.