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Microsoft reduces free OneDrive storage and removes unlimited option

Microsoft reduces free OneDrive storage and removes unlimited option

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Just over a year after it started offering unlimited OneDrive cloud storage for Office 365 subscribers, Microsoft is going back on the deal. Complaining that too many users were taking advantage of the unlimited space to store entire movie collections, hours of recorded video, and entire PC backups, Microsoft has introduced a new limit of 1 TB on OneDrive storage. At the same time, the company has reducing its free OneDrive storage from 15 GB to 5 GB, and removed its 100 GB and 200 GB plans, to be replaced by a new 50 GB plan for $1.99 a month.

Microsoft will give you a year to move files over the 1 TB limit

Office 365 subscribers with more than 1 TB of files currently stored on OneDrive will at least get a year to move their photos, videos, and documents, and if you're only subscribed to Microsoft's productivity suite for the bottomless storage it previously offered, Microsoft will offer you a pro-rated refund on your subscription. So too will people who signed up for a OneDrive account simply for the free 15 GB of storage be given 12 months at the higher limit, while those who signed up for the 100 GB and 200 GB plans before they were spiked will get to keep their existing deals.

A terabyte of storage is still more than sufficient for people who simply want a place to upload their photos, but the removal of the unlimited tier takes away a key selling point that Microsoft had over Google and Dropbox, key rivals in the cloud storage market. Perhaps more damaging in the long term for OneDrive will be the elimination of the 15 GB it offered for free as standard. By only offering 5 GB for new users, OneDrive loses an important differentiator in the crowded field, especially when, despite attempts to make the service easier to use, other competitors still offer better ways to actually manage your uploaded files.