Microsoft is to scale back the storage volumes on offer through its OneDrive platform, after users turned to it for entire film collections and computer backups.
The tech giant revealed in October 2014 that it was to remove storage limits on its OneDrive platform for Office 365 users – a move that many put down as an attempt to take some of Dropbox and Google’s market share. As part of the announcement, Microsoft said it was offering an unlimited service in order to become “the world’s cloud storage leader.”
Now, it has been forced to announce a reversal, blaming the U-turn on users storing far too much unnecessary data on the platform. This included movie collections, hours of high-quality video and computer backups. In certain instances, total data volumes exceeded 75TB – equal to 14,000 times the average.
Working for the benefit of the majority
Sustaining this, Microsoft claimed, would turn the service into an “extreme backup scenario” that is tailored specifically to a small handful of users. Instead, capping the service would deliver “high value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.”
The new plans will see users capped at 1TB. Meanwhile, the 15GB limit offered for free has been scaled back to 5GB, whilst the 100 and 200GB plans are to be scrapped altogether, replaced instead with a new 50GB tier.
Users who have more than 1TB of data stored on OneDrive needn’t get worried about losing their files just yet, though. Microsoft is allowing one year for users to remove what they don’t need. It’s not yet been made apparent what Microsoft will do with accounts that remain over the 1TB limit once the year is up.
To compensate users that signed up solely for the unlimited storage – not necessarily the full Office 365 suite – Microsoft announced it is to offer a pro-rated refund on subscription costs. For those using the free model but with between 5GB and 15GB of files, Microsoft has also given a year’s grace, as well as the option to redeem a free one-year Office 365 subscription, which includes 1TB of storage.