Microsoft OneDrive Unlimited Storage Ends, New Plans Begin

A "small number" of OneDrive users has taken advantage of the service's offer of unlimited cloud-based storage, prompting Microsoft to roll back the amount of data storage it will now provide to Office 365 subscribers.

Under the new plans announced yesterday, free OneDrive storage will drop from 15 GB to 5 GB, while Office 365 Home, Personal and University subscriptions will come with 1 TB of storage rather than an unlimited amount.

A few Office 365 subscribers abused the unlimited storage offer by backing up multiple PCs and even entire collections of movies and DVR recordings, according to a post on the OneDrive blog yesterday. "In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average," the post noted.

Some of Microsoft's OneDrive changes take place immediately, while others will be introduced early next year, with a 12-month transition period for some users.

Ending Focus on 'Extreme Backup'

Microsoft began offering unlimited OneDrive storage for all Office 365 subscribers last October. However, some business customers reported they were unable to exceed 1 TB of storage and could access more only for an additional cost.

"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," Microsoft said in its blog post yesterday.

In addition to reducing subscribers' storage from unlimited to 1 TB, Microsoft is also dropping its 100 GB and 200 GB paid plans for standalone OneDrive storage. Beginning in early 2016, it will instead offer a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month.

Free OneDrive storage, in the meantime, will drop from 15 GB to 5 GB, and the previous 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will be discontinued. Both those changes will also be introduced early next year.

Like an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet


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