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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  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    Also worth noting is users getting 3GB free when you auto upload photos. I have a Windows Phone and this was a no-brainer. OneDrive is a great solution since it's also cross compatible and semi-transparent on Windows. Reply
  • HardwareDufus - Monday, June 23, 2014 - link

    This is actually quite compelling. I am an IT professional. A consultant that programs in a great many languages and works on large, mission critical, applications. I have a plethora of computers (16 or more). However, the one I favor has no more than a 250GB SSD and a 500GB harddrive...and they are no where near full, not by a long shot. (granted I'm not a gamer, nor a movie/song pirate, so I don't store as much as those folks). I spend more money just backing those up than the Microsoft subscription. Now if they would extend it to my Desktop, Laptop and Cell Phone..under the same plan...wow. Reply
  • fluxtatic - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    How much can it cost to back them up really? Couple external HDDs you can rotate out to a remote location, cheap cloud storage all over the place...take your files, 7-zip and encrypt on Ultra settings and put them in the cloud (god that term makes me feel dirty). At least for raw sources, they'll zip down to practically no space.

    Anything I really don't want to lose, I have backed up twice to separate drives on my fileserver and copies on OneDrive and Amazon. My KeePass db is in at least 5 different places at any given time.

    And throw another 500GB HDD in your box, too (assuming desktop). It's dirt-cheap for the drive and Cobian Backup is free - set it up to back everything up as often as you feel necessary and sleep easy...since it's your front line defense and you've got multiple other backups.
    Reply
  • krazy_olie - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    I just logged in and for some reason I have 25gb plus 25gb of "enthusiast" bonus for a few months. :/ Reply
  • Wolfpup - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    Honestly I'm shocked that 25% of people have MORE than 15GB! The service must be doing really well if that's true.

    I'd just assume that most people are like me, and have a few documents on there at best.

    OneDrive is super inconvenient now for Windows users, given 8.1 basically removed compatibility with it LOL. (To have it integrated with the Windows file system, you have to be logged in to a Microsoft account on your local machine, which is completely unacceptable)
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    I agree that's really annoying because I have at least one computer where I don't want to use my personal ms account but would still like to have access to my one-drive. But for the most part it's ok. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 - link

    People backing up pictures/video I'd guess for most of it; depending on how good their music duplicator is cd rips might be a decent chunk. I don't have anything in OneDrive, but IIRC Amazon made me upload ~15/55GB of my music to their cloud. Reply

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