In November, Microsoft created a huge backlash by saying to customers that they were going to reduce the free storage from 15GB to a small 5GB, and also removing the 15GB camera roll bonus in 2016.
Now I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of personal files stored on OneDrive and it would be a pain to have to change storage providers because of this change. In my opinion, this sounds like Microsoft is finally realising that they were giving away too much free storage. However, it seemed like Microsoft just didn’t care about its customers anymore.
If you remember from before, Microsoft had offered 7GB of free OneDrive (previously SkyDrive), increased it to 15GB, now decreased it to 5GB. Meanwhile, Google are offering free 15GB of storage on Google Drive with unlimited storage of high-res photos and 1080p and under video, and MEGA are offering 50GB of free storage.
Over 70,000 customers voted in the OneDrive UserVoice page asking Microsoft to bring back the free storage limits and it has worked, albeit a catch. The customer has to inconveniently go to a special page just to opt-in to keep the free 15GB of storage, as well as the 15GB camera roll bonus if they have it before the end of January 2016.
Microsoft’s Group Project Manager Douglas Pierce said on the OneDrive UserVoice page that while they are not changing their initial plans of reducing free storage, they will be offering current users the opportunity to keep their free storage, and if they have more than 5GB of files stored on OneDrive, they will also have the opportunity to receive a free year of Office 365 which has 1TB of additional storage.
While we are not changing our overall plans, we’d like to clarify what we are doing for customers impacted by the changes and share a new offer which we hope will go a long way in making the situation better for our biggest fans.
Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscriptions will continue to include 1 TB of storage. Any subscriber who received additional storage as part of our unlimited offer will keep it for at least 12 months. For anyone unhappy with the decision to not offer unlimited storage, we will offer a full refund.
For customers of our free service who have over 5 GB of content and who are directly impacted by the storage change, we will offer one free year of Office 365 Personal, which includes 1 TB of storage. These customers will receive an email with redemption information early next year.
In addition, for our biggest fans who have been loyal advocates for OneDrive, we are adding a new offer that lets you keep your existing 15 GB of free storage when the changes happen next year. If you also have the 15 GB camera roll bonus, you’ll be able to keep that as well.
From now until the end of January, you can sign up to keep your storage at the link below.
I think the moral of today’s lesson is to not think “Hallelujah” when any company starts offering unlimited something. It will eventually be unsustainable for the business and ultimately we, consumers, will be paying the price for future changes.