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Office 365 Users Get Unlimited OneDrive Storage

As another week passes, yet another change occurs in the cloud storage offerings from one of the major providers. Companies like Dropbox, Google and Microsoft are just a few in the big battle for the cloud market. All are doing their best to draw consumers into the services and to tie them into their ecosystems. The latest move comes from Microsoft and OneDrive, who will be offering all Office365 subscribers unlimited cloud storage.

The exciting part is that this change comes at no additional cost. Existing subscribers will get the deal as part of their current package, while the cost for new subscribers is remaining the same (for now). This deal is initially targeted at Home, Personal and University customers, but the release is being staggered. At time of writing the rollout has begun, but it could take some months before everyone is able to benefit from the unlimited storage.

Business customers aren’t being left out, however. OneDrive for Business customers will receive updates on the change, which is currently being roadmapped, in 2015. This is following the promise that ample notification will be provided when systems undergo significant changes.

Meanwhile, Corporate Vice President of OneDrive and SharePoint, Chris Jones, said that users should start to take advantage of the current 1TB capacity they receive at the moment in preparation.

Jones acknowledged that unlimited storage is a big milestone for OneDrive, but also pointed out that the true value of cloud storage comes when it is tightly integrated with other tools – like those used for communicating, collaborating, creating, and more.

It can be difficult to differentiate in the cloud market, apart from on storage and price, which is why a lot of big providers are positing storage alongside their other offerings. For example, Google Drive is tied in with Google’s infrastructure like Docs and Forms; Microsoft are looking to do the same here, hoping that consumers will invest in their Office365 services for the long term.

At a certain point, consumers will no longer be paying just for the cloud service – they will be investing their money in a whole feature set, which is beneficial for the company as it ties that user into their platform.

“That is why unlimited storage is just one small part of our broader promise to deliver a single experience across work and life that helps people store, sync, share, and collaborate on all the files that are important to them, all while meeting the security and compliance needs of even the most stringent organizations,” said Jones.

Wes Miller, an analyst at Directions, told CIO Today that he is always a bit cautious when it comes to the word ‘unlimited’. He believes there is always a certain level where things begin to throttled or stop working.

Miller does have a point. Bitcasa recently announced that they were suddenly ceasing to provide unlimited storage, a move which shocked and outraged their consumer base considering it had long been their unique selling point. Although, perhaps it could be expected that a tech giant like Microsoft can better maintain an unlimited storage offering.

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