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OneDrive Boosts Make Microsoft the Deal To Beat in Cloud

This is more of a consumer play than a business one, but these days the two are intimately related. Microsoft on Monday unveiled plans to double the free storage in the OneDrive cloud storage platform, to ratchet the OneDrive storage for consumer versions of Office 365 by 50x, and to drastically cut the price for purchasing additional storage for those who might need it.

By the numbers, OneDrive will come with 15GB of storage, more than double the previous limit of 7GB. The thinking behind the new limit has to do with Microsoft's consumer research. The new limit for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscriptions, meanwhile, bounces way up to 1TB, from a previous limit of 20GB. Buying additional storage will cost $1.99 for 100GB, a 73 percent price cut, and $3.99 for 200GB, a 65 percent price drop.

Omar Shahine, group program manager for OneDrive.com at Microsoft, shared the thinking on the base OneDrive increase in a blog post announcing the changes.

"Our data tells us that 3 out of 4 people have less than 15 GB of files stored on their PC. Factoring in what they may also have stored on other devices, we believe providing 15 GB for free right out of the gate -- with no hoops to jump through -- will make it much easier for people to have their documents, videos, and photos available in one place," Shahine wrote, suggesting the size increase is neither random nor determined by Microsoft's current datacenter infrastructure configuration.

On the Office 365 side, the massive storage increase to 1TB greatly improves the cost profile of the consumer subscriptions. The Personal edition at $6.99 a month (that's the subscription made famous by its Office for iPad linkage) becomes a better deal. Meanwhile, the 1TB limit on the $9.99 a month Home edition is per user. With up to five users allowed on a Home subscription, that's up to 5TB of storage -- a nearly insane amount.

None of these pertain exactly to partner's businesses. The Home and Personal versions of Office 365 aren't supposed to be used for work. Instead, the business-focused news came back in April when Microsoft bumped the storage limits for Office 365 ProPlus to 1TB. Nonetheless, Microsoft is establishing itself as the gold standard in cloud storage.

Being able to land 1TB of cloud storage that's portable to many device types (not just Windows-based ones) and the Office suite makes Microsoft's an easy deal to choose over the competition for personal devices. The more the Microsoft platform is top of mind, the better for Microsoft partners.

Posted by Scott Bekker on June 23, 2014 at 12:13 PM


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