From the beginning of November Microsoft have announced they will be cutting the available cloud storage on their Onedrive, linked to a users Office 365 account, from unlimited to 1TB per user. Currently the change will only affect personal and student accounts but no word has been given either way as to whether the same changes are in the works for business users.
The reasons cited for the changes are that a few bad apples are spoiling the bunch. Some customers are abusing the unlimited offering and storing some 75TB plus of files on their Onedrive account and vague references are made to potentially illegal or copyright infringing material being shared over the service. The timing of the announcement is interesting though, following as it does nearly 8000 staff being made redundant at Microsoft earlier in the year with a further 1000 reportedly following in October. It’s not difficult to speculate that a reduction in service availability isn’t in some way related to other cost cutting at the tech-giant.
Inevitably users are upset at the fairly large cut to their service, particularly those in media production who rely on the large storage available for photographs or high resolution video. One user posted on the Onedrive community forums that they had specifically switched from Mac to Windows to take advantage of the storage offer and they were now looking at the tricky process of migrating back to Mac or over to Google Drive so as not to lose any files.
Users on the free Onedrive not linked to Office 365 are also having the available storage slashed from 15GB to 5GB and new subscribers will no longer be able to get deals for 100 or 200GB storage with packages starting at 50GB. Users currently on the larger plans will be unaffected and users who have exceeded the new limit on their storage will be given a year to make changes before the account is reduced.
Industry analysts are offering caution to users however with most stating that this shift is in line with the way Cloud is moving as a whole and Microsoft are just the most high profile of providers to make the change. Many expect that as a whole there will be a reduction in the amount of online storage out there and though Google may continue to offer unlimited storage it won’t be without some potential financial pain.