Microsoft Gives Office 365 Users Unlimited OneDrive Storage

Starting as early as Monday, all subscribers of Microsoft's Office 365 service will receive "unlimited" OneDrive cloud-based storage.

Microsoft is gradually rolling out the expanded capacity to Office 365 subscribers "over the coming months," the company said in an announcement. However, hose with Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscriptions can sign up at this page to get it first.

A caveat: OneDrive for Business subscribers will have to wait. Microsoft is only promising OneDrive for Business subscribers that members of its "first release" program will see unlimited storage capacities sometime in 2015.

It could be as far off as October 2015 before OneDrive for Business users will see that unlimited storage, as Microsoft's announcement states that "we will begin updating the First Release customers in 2015, aligned with our promise to provide ample notification for significant service changes." Microsoft's notification promise is usually stated as a one-year advance notice of any "disruptive change" to its Online Services, per its support lifecycle policy.

Microsoft also has a program that charges extra for additional OneDrive storage space. The costs for that program vary from region and country, but there is a 100GB plan at $1.99 per month and a 200GB plan at $3.99 per month. Microsoft apparently is still continuing to sell this service.

Microsoft's Office 365 business and enterprise plans range from $5 per user per month to $20 per user per month. The Home and Personal Office 365 plans are priced at $9.99 and $6.99 per month, respectively.

Google offers business users of Google Apps with unlimited storage and its Vault e-mail discovery service for $10 per user per month if there are more than five users. Alternatively, Google charges $5 per user per month with 30GB of online storage.

Microsoft's announcement may put more pressure on the pure online storage services providers that don't provide applications. For instance, Dropbox charges $9.99 per month for 1TB of storage space. Online storage service provider Box offers storage plans ranging from free (10GB to 100GB) to $15 per user per month for business users with unlimited storage. Box also has an enterprise plan with unlimited storage that adds security features, but the price is unlisted.

Last month, Microsoft increased the file upload size on OneDrive to 10GB for its consumer users, among other improvements. It's still unclear when OneDrive for Business users might see that increased file size capability, though.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.