We Need a Microsoft One Too (Premium)

Yesterday, Google announced its Google One service, which significantly improves the availability of cloud storage to its customers. Microsoft needs to meet---if not exceed---this offering.

Several years ago, I spoke privately with Steven Sinofsky, who then led the Windows team. When was Microsoft ever going to really show up in the cloud storage market, I asked? His response was interesting and reflective of the day: Never, he told me. Cloud storage is a money-losing business. And if Microsoft made cheap cloud storage available to its one-billion-plus Windows user base, they'd actually use it, if only for a one-time backup. And then Microsoft would be stuck with the responsibility, legal and otherwise, of keeping those backups healthy, geographically replicated, and available.

Things change. Sinofsky, of course, is long gone from Microsoft. And his successor, Terry Myerson, is about to leave. For cloud storage, specifically, Microsoft's solution---OneDrive---has likewise experienced a lot of change. Some good, and some bad. But I think it's fair to say that they're on a good path today. And that OneDrive, after some shaky couple of years, is now reliable and performant enough for me to use it for my own work and to recommend it to others.

There's just one thing. Microsoft is still far too tentative when it comes to meeting the storage needs of its consumer customers. You can get 1 TB of OneDrive storage if you subscribe to Office 365 Personal or Home, which is reasonable. But that's the ceiling: Microsoft doesn't let you purchase any additional storage beyond some minor bumps for referral bonuses (.5 GB for each new user you recommend.)

This is a problem.

1 TB of cloud storage may have seemed impressive a couple of years ago. But today, this is barely table stakes. I'm using over 750 GB of my own 1 TB allotment right now, and given how many photos I take, it's only a matter of time before I start hitting at the limits. What's next? Do I need to start manually deciding which memories are worth saving?

Like Brad, I've been calling on Microsoft to make more storage available---at cost, for sure---so that those customers who really need it do not have to look elsewhere for a solution.

But this week's Google One announcement has me wondering whether my previous compromise is good enough. Now, I'm thinking that Microsoft needs to do more than just let us buy more storage.

Google One is currently available only in preview and Google will likely take several months getting it deployed to its users. But it breaks down like so: You will be able to buy additional storage in 100 GB ($24 per year), 200 GB ($36 per year), and 2 TB ($120 per year) allotments, and if you need more than 2 TB, you just pay the same price for each 2 TB addition. (Up to 30 TB!) This is reasonable.

Microsoft's Office 365 pricing is, on the face of things, competitive. After all, you can get 1 TB of OneDrive storage for as little as $70 per year (fo...

Gain unlimited access to Premium articles.

With technology shaping our everyday lives, how could we not dig deeper?

Thurrott Premium delivers an honest and thorough perspective about the technologies we use and rely on everyday. Discover deeper content as a Premium member.

Tagged with

Share post

Please check our Community Guidelines before commenting

Windows Intelligence In Your Inbox

Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Thurrott © 2024 Thurrott LLC