Microsoft beefs up Office 365 with unlimited OneDrive cloud storage

27 Oct 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »

Microsoft Gives Office 365 Subscribers Unlimited Cloud Storage.

Microsoft ‘s is offering unlimited cloud storage to all of its Office 365 subscribers, doing away with data caps and pricing tiers as it amps up the storage fight with Google , Dropbox and others. Microsoft is making Office 365 a considerably sweeter deal with unlimited OneDrive storage for all users, as the commoditization of pure cloud storage continues.

Customers have previously been offered 1TB of space but, as announced in a OneDrive blog post, unlimited storage will now be rolled out to all Office 365 Home, Personal, and University customers at no extra charge. “We’re thrilled to continue our quest of making OneDrive the world’s cloud storage leader – and, always a key part of the best productivity service with Office 365.First it was a terabyte of storage, and now Microsoft has one-upped itself, announcing today that its offering unlimited storage for Office 365 customers.

That’s not to say it’s free—an individual Office 365 subscription costs $70 a year, and a home subscription, which would give unlimited storage to up to five users, costs $100 a year. The offer includes both OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, according to Chris Jones in a post on the OneDrive blog, and is “rolling out over the coming months”. The offer might not sound like much, but it means that anyone looking for cheap cloud storage can’t get any better than Microsoft’s offer – and that’s without even taking into account the free software that comes with Office 365. Currently there’s no change in storage limits for OneDrive users without Office 365 accounts, but Microsoft seems to be intent on putting pressure on rival services like Dropbox and Google Drive, so we doubt we’ve seen the last of these storage wars. Microsoft’s move puts even more pressure on providers such as Dropbox and Box, which don’t currently rely on software or advertising revenue streams to supplement server costs.

Office 365 is the subscription version of Microsoft’s productivity suite, which includes copies of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and several other programs. It’s a compelling offer and it also seems like it could lure users used to the pay-once, keep-it-forever model of regular old Microsoft Office to the company’s more lucrative subscription models.

Even though the storage isn’t limited to Office documents—it can be used to upload monster files and automatically back up every picture taken on smartphones running iOS, Android or Windows—the majority of eligible users probably would have a hard time filling up their previous limit of 1 TB, let alone spilling over. But hey, if taking care of your online storage means accidently getting Microsoft Office on another couple of devices then not many people will complain about that. There’s no limit on the number of devices that can access OneDrive storage, but access is tied to a single Microsoft account with a Personal subscription. For the $6/month “Personal” version of Office 365, you’ll get one account that has now has unlimited storage, plus copies of the Microsoft Office software that runs on your PC (Mac or Windows) and a tablet (iPad or Windows), for offline usage.

More from WSJ.D: And make sure to visit WSJ.D for all of our news, personal tech coverage, analysis and more, and add our XML feed to your favorite reader. Microsoft will continue to sell OneDrive space as a separate product, but the Office 365 Personal price is likely to be rock-bottom even if you never use the included Office apps. While Microsoft isn’t the first company to realize that killer apps drive cloud storage, it has arguably executed on that idea better than anyone as it turns online storage into a commodity. Some file types are prohibited from uploading, and there is currently a limit of 20,000 items (folders and files), which imposes a severe practical constraint on the amount of data that an Office 365 subscriber can store. To compare, for $10/month, Dropbox gives you 1 terabyte of cloud storage, which is a LOT of storage — enough to hold millions of documents or 17,000 hours of music or 310,000 photos.

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