Microsoft Offers Free Year of Office 365 to Some OneDrive Users

Posted on April 19, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in OneDrive with 0

Microsoft Offers Free Year of Office 365 to Some OneDrive Users

Microsoft has begun emailing OneDrive users who qualify for a one-time-only offer of a free year of Office 365 Personal. This offer is only being made to those users who were using more than 5 GB of OneDrive storage when Microsoft announced it would lower the free storage allotment on the service.

“As you know, the amount of storage that comes with most OneDrive accounts is changing from 15 GB to 5 GB,” the email reads. “You previously confirmed your desire to keep your 15 GB of free storage (and the 15 GB camera roll bonus if you have it). As a result, your account will not be affected by these changes.”

“We also want to extend an offer that we are making available to users who are close to or will be over the new storage limits,” the email continues. “You can claim a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal. This subscription includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage. We want to apologize for any inconvenience these changes may have caused you. We listened to our users’ feedback, and we are committed to making OneDrive the best option for people who want to be productive and do more.”

So. As you may recall, Microsoft in November announced that it would renege on its promise of offering unlimited OneDrive storage to customers who subscribed to Office 365 Home and Personal. And you certainly will recall the outrage this announcement triggered, though to be fair to Microsoft, they had to announce the change more quickly than they expected because The Wall Street Journal was getting ready to leak the story.

So a month later, Microsoft made two concessions to its disgruntled OneDrive users.

First, those enthusiasts and fans who were disappointed about Microsoft removing the 15 GB of free storage (and dropping it to 5 GB), and the 15 GB camera roll bonus can continue using that storage forever. They just needed to opt-in on the web, though that offer ended January 31, 2016.

Second, customers of the free OneDrive service who were using over 5 GB of storage would be given one free year of Office 365 Personal, which includes 1 TB of storage. An email with redemption information would be sent to such customers early in 2016, Microsoft said at the time.

There were many questions about the timing of that email, and whether users could do anything to ensure they were on the list. Over the past few months, I’ve been inundated by questions by nervous Microsoft customers who believe they were forgotten. But with the emails finally going out, that mystery is finally behind us.

I’ve now received a few emails from readers who got this offer, including at least one who thought it was a scam. But it’s real, and while it’s temporary, at least you’ll have time now to decide what you want to do with your OneDrive-based files.