Seems like there’s a lot happening with OneDrive lately. Above and beyond the features added or changed in the wake of June’s Patch Tuesday (here’s my blog on that stuff), MS has just announced that users’ free disk allocations are increasing. Everyday users will get their allocations bumped from 7 to 15 GB effective immediately, while Office 365 subscribers now get 1 TB of storage space per subscriber. Group Program Manager Omar Shahine blogged the details about this increase to the OneDrive Blog in a Monday, 6/23/2014 post entitled “Massive increase to OneDrive storage plans: 15 GB free for everyone, 1 TB for Office 365 subscribers.”
By giving away some appreciable space, does MS hope that OneDrive users will buy more at above-average rates?
This morning I was also pleased to see a ZDnet story from security and mobility maven Larry Seltzer entitled “Cloud storage price check” that helps to put this offer (and the further implications of buying in heavily to OneDrive) in perspective. There, he reveals that Microsoft’s upped allotments are actually fairly generous — only one other player listed, Bitcasa, exceeds their free space offer, while Google Drive and Copy.com match it — but that their prices for additional storage fall on the more expensive end of the spectrum. To be more specific, MS charges between $0.0321 up to $0.0388 per GB of online storage in OneDrive depending on the size commitment (curiously, with larger commitments costing more not less!), where the lowest prices fall in a range of $0.0024 to $0.0098 per GB from vendors MediaFire, Bitcasa, and Google Drive. Nobody’s saying that the free storage is an attempt to entice users to buy more at higher prices to make up for that lagniappe, but it’s hard not to think such thoughts when looking at the second table in Mr. Seltzer’s very nice article.
At the cheapest rates published for pay-as-you-go OneDrive storage space online, the 1 TB for Office 365 subscribers is worth $32.87 to $39.73 per month. That more than covers the cost of access to Office 365 by itself, and may actually provide a measurable inducement for customers who’ve been considering a subscription to go ahead and sign up. If that means you, I’d recommend acting soon enough to take advantage of this offer: it can’t last forever!
On a happier front, Jason Moore of the OneDrive team announced this morning (June 25) that MS is pushing updates to OneDrive for iOS and Android to simplify storing photos and videos from their devices onto OneDrive. iOS users will also be able to open Office documents of all kinds directly inside Office Mobile on their iPhones, or Office for iPad on the eponymous device.