Tuesday, November 3, 2015 [Tweets] [Favorites]

OneDrive Reduces Free Storage to 5 GB, Maximum to 1 TB

Microsoft (via @SwiftOnSecurity, comments):

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. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.

[…]

We’re no longer planning to offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers.

[…]

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.

Rosyna Keller:

The FAQ also makes it clear that Microsoft looks through the contents of a user’s OneDrive account. Not that anyone doubted that before.

OneDrive is now more expensive than iCloud for the smaller capacities. It’s probably not a good idea to count on unlimited anything sticking around. Will Amazon be next?

Update (2015-11-04): Brett Howse:

The paid 100 GB and 200 GB tiers are now gone, and have been replaced with a single 50 GB offering for $1.99 per month. So you get half the storage now for the same price. Previously the 100 GB plan was $2 per month and the 200 GB option was $4 per month. This seriously reduces the number of tiers, and you now go from free, to 50 GB, to 1 TB, with no other options anywhere else.

Update (2015-12-16): Joe Rossignol:

OneDrive users who sign up by January 31, 2016 will be able to keep their 15GB of free storage and 15GB camera roll bonus, even after Microsoft reduces its free storage tier to 5GB next year. OneDrive customers using more than 5GB of free storage will also receive a free Office 365 Personal subscription with 1TB storage for 12 months.

1 Comment

"The FAQ also makes it clear that Microsoft looks through the contents of a user’s OneDrive account. Not that anyone doubted that before."

Yeah. Not that anyone doubted that before, indeed. If you're backing up to any cloud, and not pre-encrypting, well...

"a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings."

Interestingly, when I contacted Amazon Cloud Drive pre-sales, I specifically indicated that I wanted to backup DVR recordings, as well as multiple Macs. (My MSO has liberal CCI byte settings, and I do love my TiVo.) And after reaching the appropriate tech savvy folks, they indicated in writing that they were just fine with that. I said, is 5TB OK? How about 30TB? And they said, just fine. We really, really do mean "unlimited". They said the only way I would be violating the TOS is if I were doing anything "commercial" with my account.

That said...

"It’s probably not a good idea to count on unlimited anything sticking around. Will Amazon be next?"

First off, let me entirely agree with you that "unlimited" is a horrible idea. Tell me what you want to charge for large backups, and let me figure out if I want to pay it.

Amazon, at least so far, seems to be getting around the "unlimited" trap by making it so difficult to use, that "unlimited" isn't really an issue. From the web client, file sizes are restricted to draconian levels. From the native client, the various limitations are so absurd as to make it utterly useless. And last time I looked around the Arq forums, the API's seem to work inconsistently in a way that make me not trust it for backup in the least.

So Amazon seems safe in offering "unlimited", by making the whole thing so damn unworkable that "unlimited" never becomes an issue.

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Interestingly, while I've been doing very small S3 backups, I'm considering switching companies. S3 is still quite expensive, oddly hasn't had any price cuts in forever, and I'm not sure I have any reason to trust either the "Infrequent Access" or "Glacier" tiers via 3rd party clients, though I'd love to be shown I'm incorrect, as they're obviously much more reasonably priced.

But I'm now looking seriously at Google Drive. $10/month for 1TB storage won't cover DVR recordings, but it will cover all my non-video needs. Plus, they've been regularly dropping prices. And unlike everybody else, it has web client access that is advertised as just what I'm looking for. Close to unlimited file size upload/downloads, and easy file manipulation / deletion. The ability to do things via the web, without having to rely on any third party client, (no matter how wonderful Arq truly is), is a massive selling point for me. It makes me feel safe that I'll be able to access my backups no matter what the future brings. And much, much cheaper than 'normal' S3 too. (I've got no problem with doing my own pre-prep before uploading, which seems a more than fair trade-off for future-proofed standard web access.)

I'd far prefer to do business with Amazon, but Google Drive is making me think trice. Decisions, decisions...

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