Today Microsoft announced some very substantial changes to OneDrive storage. OneDrive is of course Microsoft’s consumer cloud storage product, formerly named SkyDrive. When the service first launched in 2007, early users received 5 GB of online storage. This amount was increased to 25 GB per user in 2008. The service was changed again though in 2012 limiting new users to 7 GB of free storage, however existing users could be grandfathered into the old 25 GB tier, and at that time the free storage tier was more storage than competing cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive and Dropbox.

Times have changed though, and responding to the recent free storage increases and paid storage price drops implemented by Google, Microsoft has now increased the free storage pool to 15 GB. According to Microsoft’s internal data, 75% of users have less than 15 GB in their OneDrive at the moment, with the remainder likely being on some sort of paid tier. This is certainly a bonus to anyone who is using OneDrive or thinking of using it, but the big news comes attached to a subscription service.

On April 28th, OneDrive for Business announced a file storage increased from 25 GB per user to 1 TB per user coming in the next couple of months, and now that same 1 TB per user is coming to all subscribers of Office 365. Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscriptions will all include the 1 TB of storage starting in July. Let’s go over what each tier gives you and their pricing:

 

Office 365 Consumer Versions
  University Personal Home
Number of Users 1 1 5
Number of Devices 2 PCs, Macs, or Tablets 1 PC or Mac, and 1 Tablet 5 PCs or Macs, and 5 Tablets
Included Applications Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
Skype Minutes 60 Skype world minutes per month
OneDrive Storage 1 TB 1 TB x 5 Users (5 TB total)
Pricing $79.99/4 years $6.99/month
$69.99/year
$9.99/month
$99.99/year

Office 365 Home has just had a big amount of value added to it. For $100/year, users now have access to 5 TB of online storage, as well as the complete Office Suite for five people. Even if just looking at the storage available, this is a big advantage for OneDrive over the competition right now with Google offering 1 TB of storage for $120 alone.

But what if you don’t need Office? OneDrive has also had its price slashed for just storage tiers by 70% to be competitive with Google Drive:

 

Consumer Cloud Offerings
  OneDrive Google Drive iCloud DropBox Box Amazon Cloud Drive
Free Storage 15 GB 15 GB 5 GB 2 GB 10 GB 5 GB
Paid Storage (USD/year) 100 GB - $24
200 GB - $48
1 TB - $70 (With Office 365 Personal)
5 TB - $100 (5 x 1 TB w/Office 365 Home)
100 GB - $24
1 TB - $120
10 TB - $1200
20 TB - $2400
30 TB - $3600
20 GB - $12
200 GB - $50
Tiers up to 1 TB not priced yet
100 GB - $99
200 GB - $199
500 GB - $499
100 GB - $120 20 GB - $10
50 GB - $25
100 GB - $50
200 GB - $100
500 GB - $250
1 TB - $500
Versioning Office files (30 days) Yes (30 days) No Yes (30 days)
Unlimited with PackRat addon
No (Personal Tier) No
File Restore Yes (30 days) Yes (30 days) No Yes (30 days)
Unlimited with PackRat addon
Yes (30 days) Yes
Operating System Support Windows
OS X
Android
iOS
Windows Phone
Windows
OS X
Chrome OS
Android
iOS
Windows
OS X
iOS
Windows
OS X
Linux
Android
iOS
BlackBerry
Kindle Fire
Windows
OS X
Android
iOS
Windows Phone
BlackBerry
Windows
OS X
Android
iOS
Kindle Fire

Clearly Microsoft is hoping to get some consumer lock-in with these tiers as it would be difficult to move away from their services if you have a couple of hundred gigabytes of data stored with them. Whether it works or not will remain to be seen but it’s an impressive offering, and something that other cloud storage vendors can’t really compete against because like it or not, Office is still an important tool for a lot of people. When Office 365 first launched, it was an interesting idea to try to migrate people from pay once own forever software to a subscription service, but at the time the value-add wasn’t really there other than always having the latest version. Considering a lot of people may only have bought Office Home and Student for around $100 (which allowed up to three installs) it was a tough sell to try and get people to switch over to paying $100/year for basically the same service. Today’s addition as well as the recent tie-in of Office365 with both the iPad and Android versions of Office can possibly sway people who were on the fence. 

 

Source: OneDrive Blog

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  • Drumsticks - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Wow, that Office bundle is a pretty impressive incentive... Reply
  • sherlockwing - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Especially for those with .edu emails and can get the University Version. Reply
  • Morawka - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    1TB of cloud storage for 4 years plus the full suite of the latest Office for the next 4 years all for $80. Goodbye dropbox Reply
  • CaedenV - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    Actuially $65 on Amazon if you are really pinching pennies.

    Interestingly enough, I just registered my University copy of office last week. Just checked my storage and no increase yet :( But then again I have the 7GB free, plus 20GB 'enthusiast' bonus for having a windows phone, plus 100 GB from turning in a few Bing points, plus 3GB for having a lumia phone with the pureview camera, plus the 20GB from Office 365... I am not exactly hurting for space right now.
    Reply
  • sherlockwing - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    It is not going live until July it seems. Also MS didn't mention if they are changing the maximum file size(was 2GB). If the max file size remains 2GB it would be disappointing. Reply
  • andrewaggb - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    wow, that's a lot of cloud storage. That's pretty compelling actually. Reply
  • B3an - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Easily the best cloud storage option right now. Even the UI is the best and easiest to use. Reply
  • Sttm - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    Yeah I love OneDrive;s UI setup in Windows 8.1. Just open explorer and drag and drop! Easy and built in. Reply
  • sherlockwing - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    The weakest point is that the max file size is only 2GB(10GB for Google Drive). Reply
  • Akrovah - Wednesday, June 25, 2014 - link

    I don't htink that will be a huge problem for most people. At least for me the only files I really have larger than that are my Windows install disc images. Even my GoG installers are all broken out into sub 2GB files for games that are larger than that. Reply

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