Microsoft

New Office 365 OneDrive storage is essentially "unlimited"

Microsoft bumped the OneDrive cloud storage for all Office 365 accounts to a whopping 1 TB.

OneDrive and Office 365

Microsoft raised the roof on its OneDrive storage this week. The new OneDrive capacities are still limited, but for most Office 365 users, the new OneDrive plans basically amount to unlimited online storage.

In April, Microsoft increased the OneDrive limit for Office 365 business accounts from 20 GB to 1 TB. Now, Microsoft is providing that same 1 TB of online OneDrive storage for all Office 365 accounts. Office 365 Personal and Office 365 University accounts will each receive 1 TB of OneDrive storage. Office 365 Home accounts will get a separate 1 TB of OneDrive storage for each of the five users on the account.

In a post on the OneDrive Blog, Microsoft explained the move to provide more storage. "With OneDrive, we want to give you one place for all of your stuff: your photos, videos, documents, and other files. Of course, to do this, we need to make sure you actually have enough storage space for everything, particularly given that the amount of content everyone has is growing by leaps and bounds."

However, storage (in general) is fairly cheap. You can buy 3 TB of external storage for your PC from Amazon for $100. While most cloud storage providers -- Microsoft included -- continue to define limits, cloud storage capacity is evolving in much the same way as cellular calling minutes. In the very near future, the capacity will cease to be a differentiating factor in choosing a cloud storage provider, and unlimited storage will simply be the de facto standard.

Microsoft isn't there yet, but it understands that the future of online storage will be about more than how many gigabytes of data you can put there. "The landscape is changing to the point that we believe it's no longer enough to provide only cloud storage -- that's table stakes. We want to provide a complete experience that brings in the power of Office and lets you do more with everything you put in your OneDrive -- whether it's sharing your favorite photos with the people you care about in one simple click or working together in real time on an important project."

For all intents and purposes, 1 TB is unlimited for almost all users. There are certainly exceptions to that rule -- users with 2 TB, 3 TB, or even more data to store. The reality, though, is that bumping Office 365 OneDrive storage to 1 TB is essentially the same thing as saying it's "unlimited."

The free OneDrive account storage was also bumped to what Microsoft considers to be somewhat unlimited for most users. Microsoft raised the capacity for OneDrive from 7 GB to 15 GB -- matching the rival Google Drive limits. Microsoft says that its research indicates that three out of four users have less than 15 GB of personal files on their PC, so it believes that the new 15 GB limit will accommodate the needs of the vast majority of users.

With 1 TB of OneDrive storage, users can store everything they have in the cloud and have virtually ubiquitous access to open, edit, or share data from anywhere. Microsoft has changed the game so Office 365 users can stop discriminating about which files or data deserve to occupy the cloud and which should remain local.

Do you think this storage increase is significant, or does Microsoft need set the bar higher to remain relevant? Share your thoughts in the discussion thread below.

About

Tony Bradley is a principal analyst with Bradley Strategy Group. He is a respected authority on technology, and information security. He writes regularly for Forbes, and PCWorld, and contributes to a wide variety of online and print media outlets. He...

30 comments
JohnFleet
JohnFleet

Can anyone tell me is there an individual file size limit? I'm looking to remotely host my iPhoto database - about 35 GB at the moment. I have run out of free space on Dropbox to accommodate it so looking for alternatives....

michael.patrick
michael.patrick

For the comments regarding you will never use Office 365, why are you posting.  Go boot up your Linux distro and make it happen your way.  For the comment about can Microsoft mine your data, the answer is no.  Office 365 meets compliance regulations as stated here.  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/business/office-365-what-is-business-trust-center-FX103030390.aspx

Your data is not stored just in the cloud. That would not work for most of us. It is replicated. My Onedrive data lives on my local computer and is replicated offsite to my Microsoft account.  It is then replicated to my tablet, and whatever devices I setup, including my smartphone. So what did I forget.... Oh yeah. if you sign up for the Business account for $15 a month you get office 2013 installed locally on up to 5 devices AND you can use web apps. Don't want to upgrade when Office 2016 or whatever it  is called is released?  Then don't! you can use the version you have installed.  

If you cancel your account all of your data is still on your local machine.  

viProCon
viProCon

Does anybody know if Microsoft (or any cloud storage vendor) have rights to use your uploaded files for any type of analysis? Big Data is what I'm referriung to here.  Facebook for example has full power to use everything you put on their site for whatever kind of data analysis they want, so I wonder if cloud agreements with MS and Google etc. are the same? 

frylock
frylock

1TB == "unlimited"? Apparently you have a lot less data than I do. This kind of breathless hyperbole makes you look less credible, ease up.

Granted at these capacities, the size of the pipe is likely to become more of an issue than the size of the storage itself.

Joshua Morden
Joshua Morden

This gives people a reason to get Office 365. Now you're not just paying for Office, you're paying for the online storage too.

John Smith
John Smith

Do you honestly think Microsoft will ever be irrelevant? Come on.

bobcglewis
bobcglewis

How on earth is any normal person ever going to revisit/use  that data?  It's like duplicating the Internet over again.  It's like throwing stuff in your attic for your grandchildren to discover - or are people going to spend 24 hours a day watching junky 3D movies? Or record their incredibly interesting 5 year walking trip around Mars?


And when the internet gets spiked by some evil force, whaddaya gonna' do? A 3T external drive that I 'm totally in charge of will be enough for me.  There isn't  even that  amount of good stuff worth saving!

Gosi Munyadzwe
Gosi Munyadzwe

So far so good, especially in these days where everyone treads on the cloud with caution

BillGates_z
BillGates_z

Ohh, this will be a game changer! BWA-HA-HA!! Desperate measures for desperate measures

Poli Tecs
Poli Tecs

I have to say, MS is really stepping it up and just CLOBERING the Apple's and Google's, especially with the Surface Pro 3 which I am watching someone in SBUX right now set their new Surface up in a place predominately Apple, but I have one HUGE glaring issue.


What good is 1TB of space if you can't upload more than 2GB video size? This seems beyond dumb and makes my desire to move to the Cloud 100% moot.

joaomiguelcorreia
joaomiguelcorreia

"Microsoft has changed the game so Office 365 users can stop discriminating about which files or data deserve to occupy the cloud and which should remain local."

No, it hasn't, it simply shifted the burden to ISP's and your upload speed and cap. They could have given everyone a petabyte and it still wouldn't have mattered one bit if no one has the upload speed to get the data in without paying a fortune in data transfer costs. This applies to both consumers and enterprises.


Also, everything is peachy until the day your net connection dies and all your files are on the other side of the fence. They'll do you much good then.
ronaldsauve
ronaldsauve

I agree that it's not so much about space. For example, I have MS Office for iPad, and it is unable to access my folders and files on Onedrive. At present, I have 48G space on Onedrive, and I am using about one third of that space. And that includes all my photos, which is about one third of the actual space I am using.

I am told by MS Techs that if I delete a good chunk of my folders and files on Onedrive, that the Office apps may then be able to access the remaining files! Delete my folders and files?!?! I thought that the purpose of the cloud was to store my folders and files, not to delete them! Correct me if I am wrong, but if I cannot use the Office for iPad apps to access only 15 or 16 GB of folders and files, then what good is 1TB of space?

In addition to that, with Box especially, and with Dropbox, I can easily save folders and files for offline use. After all, we are not all connected to the web 24/7. There are many times when I need access to folders or files when I am offline. MS Onedrive has not given me this. Another case in point on the usability of the cloud, not just space.

It seems to me that MS needs to work on the integration of its own systems, so that fiascos like this are not the rule of the day.

PJL1941
PJL1941

I cannot understand why so many people hate Microsoft.  I have both an Apple and a PC.  Microsoft wins hands down for user friendliness, service, and it just a great system which is always ahead of the game.  If you don't like it, then fine.  The other 85% exercise their right to disagree by continuing to use it.

the_tech_mule
the_tech_mule

The issue is really no longer, where can I find enough space to store it, but where is it going to be reliably stored where it is secure and safe from loss. 


I have nearly 600GB in my photo library. I already back it up to the cloud, but I still don't trust any vendor or site to hold anything but a copy of what I have since I don't know of any service where I can use a separate service to back it up without using my local computer as an intermediary.

jsmith
jsmith

If the amount of storage provided is more than is needed then the benefit is academic.

What WOULD be useful would be for Microsoft to deliver the "co-owner" feature that was promised (OK, not promised, but indicated as coming) earlier this year.

Without the ability to access shared files offline, file/folder sharing on OneDrive is fundamentally broken and more importantly, is a critical difference between the way that OneDrive works compared to DropBox and GoogleDrive et al.

Critical in the sense that the difference is so fundamental that you cannot reasonably compare OneDrive file-sharing with file sharing on those other platforms.  To the extent that I have filed a complaint with the Commerce Commission here in NZ on the basis that such comparisons made without highlighting this difference, and the advertising of file sharing and offline access features without mentioning the fact that one precludes the other, especially when making comparisons with other cloud storage offerings, constitutes an Unsubstantiated Representation and is an offence under NZ Fair Trading law.

carlsf
carlsf

SORRY Microsoft we wll never use 365 or office 2015.

The UI is bad and we will purchase our applications and O/S as we require and I cn assure it wont be Windows 8 or Office 365/2015 in any shape or form

chetucon
chetucon

I guess they are moving to the real deal... it will not be about space, it will be about what you can really do... and well, in order to do that, you need space. It will be a value added if for the same 365 subscription you get something else besides the 1 TB per user... Any idea on the free OneDrive increase? might it be done in phases?

'techy'
'techy'

Comparing all the paid services similar to 365, Microsoft has it in the bag. I think it's a gimmick where they say it's 'free' but you pay for the 365 service anyway. Simply, it's not free, just a play on words. 

charlie
charlie

@frylock Indeed.  I think my first PC hard drive was 256 MB or, as the sale guy put it, "All the room you'll ever need."

viProCon
viProCon

@frylock  I think it depends on what you upload.  If you're sticking your bitrorrent downloads on there that's one thing, but you'd have to put 100,000's of Word docs, photo's, etc. before reaching that 1TB - and at the rate of increase it's a safe bet that by the time you do, that limit will be increased again.  That is of course, assuming one does not use OneDrive as their pr0n repository or what not lol

charlie
charlie

@bobcglewis Well, for me, the bulk of my data is images of the kids and all the raw video I will one day get around to editing and creating highlight reels.

aaroncavanaugh2
aaroncavanaugh2

@Poli Tecs Hi,

I agree that 2GB limit should be changeable. I have old family videos that are over 35 minutes long that are over 2GB in size. Thanks. God Bless. Aaron
kindlen
kindlen

@jsmith  I use Google Apps for Business, but have Office 365 but do not use that often. I have it so I can answer technical questions for clients. 

Could you explain in detail the difference between Microsoft cloud storage and Google Drive?

TRgscratch
TRgscratch

@carlsf   You are certainly entitled to your opinion and it's your decision to use or not use any vendor's product, for any reason.  I wonder why you would even read much less reply to an article that is so specifically about one vendor's offering

bahnjee
bahnjee

@carlsf  You nitwits that continue to harp on how you'll never move to Win8 are starting to sound like Flat Earthers. Win8 is here....you will use it or be left behind.

joshh99
joshh99

@TRgscratch @joaomiguelcorreia Exactly. If they cause customers to want greater upload speeds, then that can perhaps make the handful of ISPs that we all *know and love* up their game a bit and increase uploads from a mere 1-5Mbps average to 10Mbps. That would be great if they did that.

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