Microsoft Boosts Exchange Online and SkyDrive Pro Storage Space

Microsoft recently bumped up the storage capacities for two of its cloud-based storage services -- SkyDrive Pro and Exchange Online.

SkyDrive Pro users now have 25 GB of default storage, compared to the previous 7 GB, Microsoft announced late last week. Exchange Online users now have 50 GB of default mailbox storage, compared to the previous 25 GB. Microsoft isn't charging extra for the additional storage space.

SkyDrive Pro Storage Boost
SkyDrive Pro is Microsoft's SharePoint-based implementation of a cloud-based storage service. SkyDrive Pro is typically bought through various Office 365 service plans, and so it's considered by Microsoft to be more of a commercial offering compared with its SkyDrive storage consumer service. The consumer SkyDrive storage service isn't being expanded and is still limited to a default of 7 GB of free storage space. Microsoft is planning to rename both SkyDrive service names because of a legal dispute, although it's not clear when those changes will take effect.

Most Office 365 plans with SkyDrive Pro are getting the storage boost to 25 GB this week, according to Mark Kashman, a senior product manager for SharePoint at Microsoft, according to Microsoft's announcement. Exceptions include organizations with Office 365 dedicated plans, as well as Office 365 Home Premium subscribers. Office 365 Home Premium comes with access to SkyDrive, but not SkyDrive Pro.

Microsoft also announced that SkyDrive Pro users can now expand their individual storage spaces to accommodate 50 GB or 100 GB max. Those are the increments for individual storage accounts. There's also an overall tenant storage space pool for Office 365 subscribers, which is based on the number of users. The SkyDrive Pro individual storage space and the pool are considered separate by Microsoft. According to Kashman, "SkyDrive Pro storage cannot be allocated back to a team site, nor shared with another SkyDrive Pro user." Increasing the storage space pool when using the SharePoint Online service costs an additional $0.20 per gigabyte per month.

SkyDrive Pro is also taking advantage of a new "shared with me" view, which lets users find documents that have been shared with them. This feature is designed to work when a document has been shared by an individual -- it doesn't work when documents get shared with everyone, according to Kashman.

Microsoft has bumped up the SharePoint Online file upload size limit as well to 2 GB. Uploaded files get retained in the recycle bin for 90 days now, instead of 30 days. Microsoft has also added versioning by default in SkyDrive Pro libraries. The last 10 versions of a document now get shown.

Exchange Online Mailbox Boost
Microsoft's doubling of its Exchange Online storage to a default of 50 GB started to roll out late last week. Customers will get the storage space boost automatically. However, they may not see it appear right away as Microsoft is rolling out the expansion gradually through November.

The increased storage capacity is for both Office 365 subscribers and Exchange Online customers. The exception is organizations with "Kiosk" subscriber plans. However, subscribers to Kiosk plans also will see their mailboxes double -- from 1 GB to 2 GB.

Microsoft's announcement indicated that it is increasing the size of "shared mailboxes" and "resources mailboxes" to 10 GB each, which is more than double their previous sizes. However, the "site mailbox" sizes are remaining unchanged.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.