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Microsoft is making notable improvements to its storage offerings for its OneDrive cloud-based service. The company is announcing today that OneDrive storage at the free tier will be more than doubled, Office 365 storage will see a major increase, and that there will be storage price drops across the board. Here are the three main announcements in more detail:

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  • Currently, OneDrive’s free tier includes 7GB of storage. This storage is accessible via the OneDrive apps on iOS, Android, Windows, and on the web, and much like Dropbox and the upcoming iCloud Drive, it can store files of all kinds. Now, this 7GB is moving to 15GB. Microsoft says it is making the switch to 15GB now that people store more files in the cloud and now that images and videos taken on smartphones consume much more space.
  • A bigger shift is occurring on the Office 365 storage side. That service is moving from 20GB of storage to 1TB of storage per user. This 1TB tier costs the same $6.99 per month for an individual user or $9.99 for a 5 person family plan (which still provides 1TB per family member). This move from 20GB to 1TB is a significant boost, but it’s unlikely that most people even have ~1000GB worth of Office files to store. Office 365 keeps Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents in sync between the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows, and web Office apps.
  • For those customers who do not want an Office 365 subscription at the aforementioned prices, users can now tack on additional storage to a OneDrive account in increments of 100GB or 200GB. 100GB is $1.99/month and 200GB is $3.99/month. The change here is price decreases: 100GB used to cost $7.49 per month and 200GB previously was $11.49 each month.

These price changes will be rolling out sometime in the next month for users. These changes are significant in light of Apple’s upcoming iCloud Drive storage service, which brings Apple into the existing world of OneDrive and Dropbox- storage services. This also comes at a time in which Apple is opening up iCloud to become a cloud-based photo library service. For comparison, iCloud Drive will cost the same as OneDrive going forward for 200GB of storage per month, while iCloud’s free tier is 5GB versus Microsoft’s 15GB. iCloud goes to 20GB of storage for only $0.99 per month. Those iCloud prices combine the photo library feature, iCloud Drive, and all other existing iCloud services…

Pricing aside, each cloud service has its own benefits. iCloud is heavily integrated into the Apple ecosystem, so it is simple to setup and use with iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, Macs, and Apple TVs. Likewise, OneDrive is well integrated into Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows 8. Microsoft hardware users will benefit considerably from using OneDrive, while Apple customers will have the most seamless experience with using iCloud. Unlike Apple, Microsoft is pushing its OneDrive cloud service on competing hardware platforms, and with similar pricing structures to Apple, it will be up to each user to decide if they truly need OneDrive in addition to iCloud on their devices. With such similar pricing, the main differentiator seems to be a dedicated OneDrive application for accessing files on iOS as well as the Office apps, which some Apple users still prefer over iWork.

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14 Responses to “Microsoft improves OneDrive storage limits & pricing as competing iCloud Drive approaches”

  1. JD Lien says:

    Apple’s 5GB strikes me as being ridiculously cheap and not nearly enough for a typical use case. Someone with an iPhone and an iPad will usually run out of space just from iCloud backup within months. Plus, since such a user has actually given Apple a significant chunk of cash for premium devices, it seems quite greedy of them to ask for more money when competitors like Google/Microsoft and even Dropbox offer more space for free without having purchased anything. (Granted, you do have to jump through hoops to get this amount with Dropbox, but it’s still possible to get over 5GB for free).

    The new tiers *are* much better, but I think they could go a bit further.

  2. My OneDrive is still saying 7GB.

  3. Andrew Cato says:

    yay more space to store torrents for my xbox one!

  4. I really wish Apple would up the iCloud Free storage. Having more than one iOS Device makes backups tight. I no longer hold photos on there (other than the last month/1,000) The backups I store are just to get things back on the phone in the same order really, nothing much else.

    I’d love FREE storage to match the devices you own. or at least 5Gb per device. But could see either a FREE Photos/Videos for life or FREE 1TB being a great starter.

    HOWEVER, I see Apple thinking those offering the TB storage (Flickr and Microsoft) are really hoping to pull some customers that way. Apple doesn’t “need” to do that to get customers and thus won’t.

    it’s a shame.

  5. So you can opt to go for office365 for a single user and get 1TB of storage plus Office suite for $6.99 a month? This is cheaper than just getting the 1TB alone on Onedrive for $9.99 a month?

  6. Meh, beating the dead horse… There is a limit number of files your can store in Onedrive which makes it impossible to actually take advantage of the whole space… it’s all a marketing trick…

    I’m a Office 365 user and struggling with this after even getting “1TB” today

  7. AAPLy yours says:

    Wow! Seriously? Can’t even handle a little constructive criticism? You have to delete my post pointing to how sloppy your reporting is in regard to Apple true pricing ($3.99 for 200GB, NOT $6.99)? How pathetic. May be next time you can get your mommy to scold me for exposing your laziness!

  8. sdraspberry says:

    MacBook users can get a MiniDrive to add 128GB of onboard storage and cut the cloud cord, can you run applications from cloud storage yet, like photoshop? theminidrive.com for my money.

    • Matt Jensen says:

      That’s great and all, but cloud storage is there for the “oh crap” moments. Such as, “oh crap, my computer just got stolen”, or “oh crap, my computer just broke”. The added benefits of cloud storage in most cases is you get to large files, such as a video, picture albums, or just a crap load of small files.

      Syncing cloud storage is the best type of storage in my opinion. I just make adjustments to a picture? It uploads automatically and everyone has access to the latest version.

      • devincco says:

        True, cloud storage is great for the instant “oh crap” moments of getting a device stolen or accessing documents from multiple places, but it is STILL NO REPLACEMENT FOR A GOOD BACKUP SOLUTION. Using cloud storage/syncing is only slightly better than a single hard drive with no backup. A good backup solution is still needed.

        Example: My son decided to “clean up” some pictures and music files. With cloud storage, a lot of times those changes are synched in near real time. So all that data is now lost. (Depending on your cloud storage solution you’ve chosen, there are ways to recover that data but sometimes you have to jump through hoops and it can be a headache.) With a good backup solution, I was able to go to the latest back and restore those directories and files within minutes.

        Everyone has their own opinion of what a good backup solution is, and it all depends on your usage. For my use it would be…

        – Cloud storage to be able to sync all the data from my home machine and be able to access all your docs from multiple devices/places.
        – Local backup to an secondary internal hard drive, external hard drive, NAS or some kind of storage device within your house/office.
        – 3rd party remote backup service (Crash Plan, Mozy, Carbonite). This allows for the ultimate “oh crap” situation where your house burns down, floods or whatever and all your devices are inside your house and are now destroyed. Crash Plan is about $50/yr for “unlimited” data. Small amount of money for the headaches that you would have if you end up at this point. They do restrict some file types like VHD files but for normal home users, pretty much every file that a typical home user would use is backed up.

        Again, every user is different so they have to figure out what would be best for them.

        I’m happy to see that these big companies are finally starting to drop the pricing of these large storage plans and not charging an arm, leg and first born for the pricing of these plans like they were just a few years ago. I remember when a 50GB plan was $50/month with one service. My have times changed.

  9. thetechglobe says:

    MEGA offers the most free storage and the best option is still SpiderOak, $5 / month for unlimited space. This articles gives you a broader look at all providers and different plans: http://thetechglobe.com/2014/06/25/onedrive-gives-you-more-storage-compared-to-dropbox-box-mega-icloud-google-drive-and-all-others/

    • I’m more interesting in an online storage company that I know is going to still be in business in 5 years than the one that currently has the cheapest prices.

      • thetechglobe says:

        That is a valid point. Most of the providers mentioned in the article are well established and will either be around for a while or be acquired because of the large user base they have. There are other factors such as usability and integration people have to consider as well. MEGA for example which offers the most free storage is just painful to use because it is so slow.