Microsoft Ups Ante in Cloud War with 15GB Free OneDrive Storage

Microsoft increased the amount of free storage it gives OneDrive users and cut its cloud prices by as much as 70 percent, making OneDrive a much more formidable competitor for Google Drive and Dropbox.

Microsoft today more than doubled the amount of free cloud storage users get with its OneDrive service and cut prices for additional space in the cloud by about 70 percent. In a related move the company also unveiled a new offer for subscribers to its Office 365 service: 1TB of free storage.

The price cuts announced Monday are part of the ongoing cloud-storage war. The 15GB offer puts Microsoft on par with Google Drive, and OneDrive is notably cheaper than Dropbox and Box -- for now. (Box offers 10GB of free storage while Dropbox offers 2GB.)

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Price aside, Microsoft made it easier to use the cloud service by integrating OneDrive with its latest Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 OS releases. That’s not a huge advantage, but it does make life a bit simpler. Having a smooth interface between OneDrive and the Office 365 service is a more significant advantage, but it’s one I haven’t tested.

The price cuts make OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive) a tempting option. Here are the basic pricing options:

  • Free storage climbs to 15GB from 7GB
  • All Office 365 users now get 1TB of OneDrive storage
  • Office 365 Personal subscribers get 1TB of storage for $6.99/month, and that price includes the subscription and the storage
  • Office 365 Home subscribers get individual storage of 1TB for up to five people for $9.99 a month
  • If you don’t subscribe to Office 365 and need more than the 15GB, you can pay $1.99 a month for 100GB (it used to cost $7.49 a month) or $3.99 for 200GB (down from $11.49 a month)

All of these updates will take effect in the next month. Current subscribers will automatically be moved to the lower prices, according to Microsoft.

In comparison, Dropbox charges $10 a month for every 100GB, up to 500GB, and Box charges $10 a month for up to 100GB.

My advice: Keep checking prices and be ready to switch providers. Storage is a commodity that’s getting cheaper all the time.

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