Microsoft has just announced a series of changes to its OneDrive cloud storage that, according to the company, should help “deliver a collaborative, connected and intelligent service.”
While these changes also include new limits for Office 365 customers, it’s the decreased free OneDrive storage space that is expected to have the biggest impact on users across the world.
Previously, Microsoft was offering 15 GB of storage space to each user of OneDrive, but starting early 2016, the company will only give away 5 GB for everyone, current and new users.
This means that, if you currently have more than 5 GB of files in your account, you have 12 months after the change comes into effect to download everything or simply redeem a free one-year Office 365 Personal subscription that comes with 1 TB of OneDrive storage. After these 12 months expire, you have to pay for additional storage or go back to 5 GB.
Additionally, the extra 15 GB of storage space available for users who configured their mobile phone camera rolls to upload photos to OneDrive will be discontinued as well.
Basically, starting early 2016, if you are not a paying customer, you get only 5 GB of free storage space on OneDrive, which is still more than the 2 GB offered by Dropbox, but three times less than the 15 GB available on Google Drive.
As part of these changes, Microsoft is also removing unlimited plans for Office 365 Home, Personal, and University, with all customers to get only 1TB of OneDrive storage. This decision, Microsoft says, has been made after discovering that some users upload their movies and DVR recordings to their accounts.
“A small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. 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,” it says.
Microsoft will also discontinue 100 GB and 200 GB plans and will introduce a new 50 GB subscription that costs $1.99 (€1.5) per month.
Customers who consider that OneDrive no longer meets their needs (and we’re pretty sure there will be lots of these) will receive a refund, Microsoft guarantees. Another announcement about when these changes will come into effect is due early next year.