In a time when cloud storage providers are looking to expand their options as much as possible, Microsoft has decided to end its unlimited OneDrive storage plans. Thus, just over a year after it started offering unlimited OneDrive cloud storage for Office 365 subscribers, Microsoft is changing its plans citing abuse from its users.
By user abuse Microsoft means its users were using the unlimited space to store entire movie collections, hours of recorded video, and entire PC backups. However, the company does mention that it was only a small number of users who excessively used the plan. Microsoft said that in some instances, the storage exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average. Here are the changes that Microsoft is issuing to its OneDrive storage plans:
- The unlimited storage for Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers is now being capped at 1 TB
- 100 GB and 200 GB paid plans are going away as an option for new users and will be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016
- Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016
However, it needs to be pointed out that if you are an Office 365 consumer subscriber and have stored in excess of 1 TB, you will be notified of this change and will be able to keep your increased storage for at least 12 months. If you choose to stop using the service, you will get a pro-rated refund will be given. If you are using more than 5 GB of free storage, you will continue to have access to all files for at least 12 months after these changes go into effect in early 2016.
The capping of the unlimited plan may affected a couple of users, but the real letdown is going to be the fact that the free storage plan has been decreased from 15GB to just 5GB. With this move, Microsoft could witness many of its OneDrive users switch over to the competition which has some better deals currently available. Apple offers 5GB for free, and has a $1-per-month 50GB plan, Google offers 15GB of free storage, and sells 1TB for $10 per month while Amazon comes with unlimited photo storage for $12 per year, or free with the $100-per-year Prime membership.