Tuesday, November 3, 2015

OneDrive Changes

Today, the OneDrive team made some (rather shocking) announcements on their blog. The way storage is considered in OneDrive has been changed today, and the effects are set to take affect in 2016. So let's talk about what's changed, and then I'll talk about it a little from a personal standpoint.

Alright, so first off, Office365 storage is now capped at 1TB. Here's the reasoning behind this:
Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.
OneDrive is also changing their storage plans. 100 and 200 gig plans are being discontinued, and will be replaced with a single 50 GB at the rate of $1.99/month. The camera roll bonus of 15 GB is being removed completely.

The other item mentioned in the blog post that's rather important is that everyone's storage is being decreased from 15 GB to 5GB, a 2/3 slash. This is seemingly being applied to all users, grandfathered or not. However, according to their FAQ, folks who had promotional/bonus storage will not be affected by these changes.

The post also goes into more detail regarding what existing Office365 customers can do regarding refunds, etc. I think I've covered the really important tidbits of the blog post, so I'll go ahead and move on to the what I think about these changes.

So, obviously I think this move is quite shocking as well. Storage is cheap, and on the scale of Microsoft, storage shouldn't cost anything to them. The only thing that would cost is maintaining the servers needed to store this data, and the datacenter costs in total.

Microsoft also seems to be pulling a classic bait-and-switch here. Microsoft puts themselves out as the "cool" guy, offering generous amounts of storage and nice bonuses for giving OneDrive a shot. Now that they've determined that they've gained enough users to make it worth while, they now retract back on their offers and generous gifts of storage, leaving you with basically nothing. Let's face it folks: 5 GB isn't a lot of data anymore in 2015, and if you think I'm wrong, you clearly don't use a computer enough. Literally 2 high-quality FLAC albums is usually ~1 GB of data alone. So 10 albums is already 5 GB, moving forward with the previous set logic.

Their new storage plan is inferior to just about everyone else. Google will have them beat if they decide to go through with these plans, and they also offer their own document collaboration platform. Google also doesn't seem to care about people using excessive amounts of space on their cloud platform.

I really hope that Microsoft comes to their senses and realizes that this move is a massive mistake, in multiple realms. If they really wanted to get rid of those who use the service for that kind of storage, they could set a hard cap at something like 5 TB. That would solve everyone's issues, seemingly. It looks like Microsoft is punishing innocent users for stuff that the top 1% (or whatever it is) are doing.

I've used OneDrive ever since it used to be called Windows Live Folders. That was a very long time ago for some folks, but I still remember the era. I've been using Microsoft's product for that long, and I think this move is not good. It seems to be bad to their reputation.

There's nothing stopping them from axing something else that users have become accustomed to due to some kind of promotion or outward change of policy. If users can move to Google, then I suggest that they give Google a shot. I'll continue to use OneDrive for now, but I'm already looking into other solutions due to this. I think that OneDrive would have reached a really low point in its lifespan if they end up dropping legacy users over it.