Just short of a year ago, Microsoft announced anyone who had a paid Office 365 Home or Personal subscription would get unlimited cloud storage on its Dropbox competitor OneDrive as part of the subscription.
Then yesterday Microsoft announced that it had decided not to offer unlimited storage. The reasoning will make you laugh.
Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average.
Yes, you read that correctly. Microsoft offered unlimited storage and when some users took advantage of that uploading over 75 terabytes of data Microsoft basically said, “Hey, wait a minute. When we said unlimited we didn’t mean really unlimited, we meant the other kind of unlimited. You know the kind that isn’t unlimited?”
Just like ISP’s love advertising their unlimited internet data plans and then warn you for using large amounts of data, Microsoft has essentially done the same thing and in the process they have misled their customers.
I am a 365 subscriber, but I don’t use OneDrive. I pay for Dropbox and I couldn’t be happier. Even though I get 1 terabyte (the same now offered by Microsoft), at least I know they won’t just change their mind like MS seemingly has done.
Weirdly enough, this now makes iCloud better value than OneDrive. Also, Microsoft can see your files thanks in part to the integration with Windows 8.1 and 10 they are pushing. This is why they knew what types of files were taking up the most space.
You know what makes the situation even more laughable? Microsoft said that some users were using 14,000 times the average of storage space, this comes in around 5.7GB. Is this why they reduced their free tier from 15GB to 5GB to force the average user to pay for OneDrive?
I think the reduction in the free tier is the biggest news here of all. 5GB is nothing in the year 2015, especially when they have been promoting it as photo storage. They’ve essentially lost their competitive edge, considering Google offers 15GB free with Google Drive.
Understandable from a business perspective, dropping the free tier below the average and putting storage limits in place brings them inline with competitors like Dropbox, but the way they went about it all is dishonest and misleading.
What really happened here was Microsoft acted like a friendly drug dealer. They enticed users with tonnes of free storage and unlimited storage if you had a 365 subscription, then once they got enough users hooked they changed the rules and knew a lot of people would just put up with it as opposed to changing storage providers.
Is it just me or is Microsoft really shooting themselves in the face a lot this year?
Stay classy, Microsoft.