Microsoft to offer Unlimited Cloud Storage
Microsoft have announced that it is offering unlimited cloud storage to all of its Office 365 subscribers, doing away with data caps and pricing tiers aimed at beating competition from Google, Dropbox and others to widen the storage gap. Earlier this year in June, Microsoft upgraded users to 1TB of Storage. 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. They have already had to drop prices in order to remain a viable option for customers.
Microsoft’s announcement is better than what Google is doing with its paid versions of Google Drive, called Google Drive for Work. Google Drive for Work costs as little as $5/user/month and restricts you to 30 gigabytes of online storage. For $10/user/month, you get 1 terabyte of online storage, until you add 6 people to the account ($60/month) and then storage is unlimited.
For those buying Microsoft Office for personal or family use, Office 365 is a better option than a paid version of Google Apps. 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. As well as that you can access these files on your phone, too (any type).
For $10/month, you can get the Home edition of Office 365, which now comes with unlimited storage. In addition, you can install on 5 devices, meaning you can share it across five people with different accounts. Annually the cost is $100/year.
Microsoft launched office 365 in early 2013, and added support for the iPad in early 2014. Since then Microsoft has acquired 7 million customers using Office 365 and this number grew by 25% last quarter alone. In comparison Google recently said it is signing up 1,800 new customers a week for its google drive service.
Unlimited storage opens up new possibilities that users may not have previously considered, such as wholesale backup of their computer hard drives, or even of their local backup drives. (“Back up your backup” is sort of a 21st-century version of the Boy Scout motto “Be prepared.”)