Starting in October, under the now-rescinded policy, photos in a user’s saved photo albums and OneDrive Gallery would count against its cloud-based quota of five gigabytes. Once the new policy went into effect, users with photos surpassing the limit would no longer be able to save new OneDrive files or even receive emails in Microsoft’s free Outlook email service.
When it announced the changes in August, Microsoft said it would grant users a free one-year storage bonus to compensate for the inconvenience, but that didn't satisfy users.
It’s possible that backlash over a recent Outlook policy change also played a role. In February, Microsoft announced email attachments and inline images would count toward the five-gigabyte OneDrive limit. Up until then, Microsoft account holders were allowed 15GB of storage in their cloud-hosted email, which included attachments and images, The Register reports.
As a result, many users complained they could no longer send or receive emails.
“No one deletes attachments every time an email is received. This is like blackmail,” one Microsoft user told The Register in April when the update started rolling out to more users. “MS is forcing us to buy a subscription by the back door or to have to delete emails with attachments on a regular basis ad infinitum.”
It’s possible the move could have forced Outlook users to migrate over to rivals like Gmail, which continued to offer a 15GB storage limit. Perhaps by backtracking on photo storage limits, Microsoft might be trying to avoid unwittingly giving Google more customers.