Just days after making a few concessions to disgruntled OneDrive customers, Microsoft has announced how it will handle the storage plans for its OneDrive for Business customers too. Better still, the firm revealed that its new OneDrive for Business sync client is now generally available for Windows 7, 8.0, and 10, and for Mac.
First, the storage news.
As with OneDrive for consumer, Microsoft will not offer unlimited storage for users on non-premium Office 365 plans, including Office 365 Business Essentials, Business, and Business Premium. Instead, they will stay at the 1 TB level.
“We expect [this] will serve the vast majority of users,” Microsoft corporate vice president Jeff Teper says. “Today, most OneDrive for Business users consume significantly less than 1TB.”
But those customers on premium—or “enterprise”—Office 365 plans will in fact still receive unlimited storage.
What that means is that those customers with five or more users on Office 365 Enterprise E3, E4, and E5; Office 365 Government E3, E4, and E5; and Office 365 Education, plus OneDrive for Business Plan 2 and SharePoint Online Plan 2, will eventually be able to request unlimited storage from Microsoft. In the short term, these customers will see their individual storage plans bumped from 1 TB to 5 TB.
It won’t happen immediately, however. Microsoft says the rollout from 1 TB to 5 TB will occur through the end of March. At the time that is complete, customers who want additional storage can request it as needed by contacting Microsoft support, Microsoft says.
Microsoft—both privately and publicly—has also apologized for both taking too long to provide this information, and for disappointing its customers.
“Overall, we have taken too long to provide an update on our storage plans around OneDrive for Business,” Teper admits. “We also recognize we are disappointing customers who expected unlimited storage across every Office 365 plan, and I want to apologize for not meeting your expectations. We are committed to earning your business every day by delivering a great productivity and collaboration service and improving our communication approach.”
But don’t take these changes—or the related changes with OneDrive for consumers, where some unlimited rollouts had actually started—to mean that Microsoft’s isn’t serious about online storage. It’s just recasting its offerings to make more sense for both it and the needs of its customers.
And on that note, Microsoft has also revealed that it’s next-generation OneDrive for Business sync client is now generally available, offering enhanced functionality and better reliability and performance. It’s available now on Windows 7, 8.0 (but not 8.1) and Mac, and the 8.1 version is expected soon. (Also not supported in this first release is first release is SharePoint document libraries. That will come in a future release, Microsoft says.)
Yes, it’s based on the same sync client used by OneDrive for consumers. And while that should give anyone pause, this sync client is indeed much better than the old OneDrive for Business sync client. And it of course supports selective sync.