Microsoft backtracks, returns free OneDrive storage
Microsoft last month slashed free OneDrive storage and made a number of unwelcome tweaks to paid plans, but thousands of consumer complaints inspired the company to reverse some — though not all — of the changes.
Microsoft, a company that says it is sorry about as often as Donald Trump, today apologized for its recent high-handed reduction of free OneDrive storage, and bumped the free limit back to its original level of 15GB, up from the 5GB it had offered.
“We’ve heard clearly from our Windows and OneDrive fans about the frustration and disappointment we have caused. We realize the announcement came across as blaming customers for using our product. For this, we are truly sorry and would like to apologize to the community.”
However, not all of the recent changes were reversed. “Unlimited” storage plans will still be cut to 1TB next year, but there’s a 12-month grace period for people with more than 1TB of data in their accounts. After that year, Microsoft will lock and eventually delete the accounts of users who fail to heed warnings about the quota, and who do not pay for extra storage.
Some of the people most affected by the reduction in overall storage space are likely Office 365 subscribers. If they’re unhappy with the new policy, they can request refunds, according to Pearce.
OneDrive not the only cloud storage option
For what it’s worth, Microsoft appears to be legitimately contrite: “We are all genuinely sorry for the frustration this decision has caused and for the way it was communicated,” wrote Pearce.
If the apology isn’t enough for you, here are some other options from Microsoft competitors, along with pricing details:
Google Drive users get 15GB of free storage; 100GB costs $2 a month; 1TB goes for $10 a month; and 10TB cost $100 monthly.
Apple iCloud users get 5GB of free space; 50GB costs $1 a month; 200GB goes for $3 per month; and 1TB costs $10 monthly.
Amazon Cloud Drive users get unlimited photo storage and 5GB for other files, for $12 a year; and “unlimited everything” storage costs $60 a year.
San Francisco journalist Bill Snyder writes frequently about business and technology. His work appears regularly in CIO.com and the publications of Stanford's Graduate School of Business and the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley. He welcomes your comments and suggestions.