Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse for OneDrive, Microsoft revealed that it will significantly defang its cloud storage options for consumers. Among the most onerous of changes, the firm no longer plans to provide unlimited OneDrive storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers.
Microsoft cites abuse as the reason.
“Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings,” a new post to the OneDrive Blog explains, as if they could have somehow expected anything different. “In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.”
As a result, Microsoft is making the following changes to OneDrive.
No more unlimited storage. Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers will no longer be offered unlimited storage. Instead, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
No more 100 GB and 200 GB paid plans. New OneDrive users will be offered a 50 GB plan at $1.99 per month starting in early 2016.
Less storage for free. Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for new and current users, and the 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016, Microsoft says.
So what about people who have already gone over these limits? I am using over 1 TB right now, and OneDrive currently tells me I have 9.7 TB of available storage thanks to Office 365 (10.2 TB), Groove Music Pass (100 GB), Camera roll (15 GB), a loyalty bonus (10 GB), a Bing bonus (100 GB) and two 100 GB enthusiast bonuses.
Microsoft says that it will begin alerting Office 365 consumer subscribers with over 1 TB of stored data, and will let them keep this storage for “at least 12 months.” You’re also welcome to get a prorated refund if you feel this doesn’t meet your needs per the OneDrive Changes FAQ.
If you’re using more than 5 GB of free OneDrive storage, you will likewise be notified and will likewise be given at least 12 months to sort things out. You will also be provided with a free 12-month subscription to Office 365 Personal, which comes with 1 TB of storage.
If you’re paying for a 100 GB or 200 GB plan, there is no change. You can keep using and paying for that storage. They just won’t be offered to new customers.
Finally, any storage you have as part of other promotions is not affected by this change.
You can find out more at the OneDrive Changes FAQ. But what this doesn’t address is Office 365 for Business customers. I assume that these customers will also be losing unlimited storage—actually, I’m pretty sure none ever received this to begin with—but I haven’t found an official Microsoft statement about that yet.