Microsoft OneDrive: Cloud Storage Price Showdown - InformationWeek

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Microsoft OneDrive: Cloud Storage Price Showdown

Microsoft has boosted cloud storage and dropped prices. Is OneDrive now the best deal in town?

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Microsoft announced a revamped pricing structure Monday for its OneDrive cloud storage service, including 15 GB free for all users, and price reductions of up to 70% for paid customers. Microsoft was relatively late to the cloud storage game and has fewer users than popular competitors such as Dropbox and Google. With aggressive new prices, the company hopes to gain ground in the crowded field while bolstering its other cloud services.

Under the new terms, Office 365 customers now get 1 TB of storage, up from a mere 20 GB per account before. Those who pay for OneDrive but not Office can get 100 GB for $1.99 per month and 200 GB for $3.99 per month. Those plans previously cost $7.49 and $11.49, respectively. As mentioned, free accounts now include 15 GB of storage, up from 7 GB.

The new prices will become effective in the next month. Current accounts will be automatically upgraded.

Microsoft's new pricing tiers are very competitive and only the newest act in an escalating competition among cloud storage providers to offer more capacity for less money. In terms of free storage, OneDrive matches Google at 15 GB. Box and Dropbox offer only 10 GB and 2 GB for free. Apple's upcoming iCloud Drive will offer only 5 GB for free.

[A Microsoft VP predicts the cloud will evolve into just a few big players. Read more from the Structure conference: Cloud Trends To Watch: Structure 2014.]

For paid plans, Google charges $1.99 per month for 100 GB and $9.99 monthly for 1 TB. Dropbox appears to be falling behind on pure price competitiveness, offering only 100 GB for $9.99 per month and charging a steep $49.99 monthly for 500 GB. When it launches this year, iCloud Drive will offer 20 GB for $0.99 monthly and a OneDrive-matching 200 GB for $3.99 per month.

The new OneDrive plans could help Microsoft push Office 365 subscriptions. The 1 TB storage allotment applies to all consumer packages, even Office 365 Personal, which costs only $6.99 per month. At such a low price, the storage alone would be competitive. Dropbox charges $9.99 per month for only 100 GB, for example. For the same amount, Microsoft's Office 365 Home offers 1 TB each for up to five users -- a much better deal if you're looking to maximize capacity. The fact that 365 subscribers get current versions of all Office apps in addition to OneDrive should only sweeten the deal. At least, that's what Microsoft surely hopes.

As the potential OneDrive-Office 365 synergies demonstrate, Microsoft and many of its competitors believe cloud storage sits at the center of cloud ecosystems. If users store their pictures and files in one place, they don't want to jump through a lot of hoops to share or edit them. For precisely this reason, Apple bakes iCloud into its devices, operating systems, and services, just like Microsoft does. However, Microsoft has also pushed OneDrive as a cross-platform service, including releasing apps for iOS and Android. Time will tell if OneDrive's Office tie-ins, aggressive pricing, and multi-platform strategy help it stand out.

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Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

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D.M. Romano
D.M. Romano,
User Rank: Moderator
6/24/2014 | 10:49:50 AM
Going rate
The 15 GB free for all users seems to be the "going rate" for freebies amongs these cloud storage sites. I use Google Drive and Barracuda's Copy drive as well. Both of which are both solid services. Though I think their mobile integration isn't he best. 
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 8:33:43 AM
Re: Muddled Branding for OneDrive for Business has a tendency to confuse.
OneDrive for Business is tied to SharePoint as part of Office 365, but that is still a preferred enterprise-grade solution to Dropbox or Box. Office 365 provides far more robust storage, security, versioning and sharing capabilities for any company that already uses Microsoft products.
Jack N FranF583
Jack N FranF583,
User Rank: Guru
6/24/2014 | 1:21:57 AM
Re: That's a lot of free storage
1 Tbit is not a lot of storage. Look at it this way. The free version of Google Fiber 1Mbps up and 5 Mbps down will take 12 days to fill a Tbit memory with 30 Netflix movies and a three day binge to watch (download) them all. So even web-urchins need a Tbit cloud-drive. Little Orphen Annie on Microsoft's One Drive, the bleeding heart Net-neutrality liberals will love Microsoft.
User Rank: Apprentice
6/23/2014 | 5:31:24 PM
Muddled Branding for OneDrive for Business has a tendency to confuse.
It's not as rosy as it sounds.  OneDrive for Business effectively refers to multiple components including Cloud Storage under SharePoint Personal Sites and Desktop Software for Windows (no Mac version yet).  SharePoint Personal Sites are a subset of SharePoint Online. Many business managers seemingly think that OneDrive for Business might let them store more company files in the cloud, but that's not quite the case.  For that you need SharePoint Team Sites along with Office Online and some OneDrive for Business Desktop Software synchronization.  To muddle it further, OneDrive for Business differs immensely from OneDrive, the consumer product.  Not too thrilled with the implementation either,  
Lorna Garey
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/23/2014 | 5:10:48 PM
Battle at Scale
It's difficult to see how Dropbox, Box, and the 398 other cloud storage wannabes that emerged in the last 18 months or so, can possibly hang with Microsoft, not to mention Apple and Google, in this price war. 
Michael Endler
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
6/23/2014 | 5:01:07 PM
Re: That's a lot of free storage
"I think Microsoft sees cloud storage as an area where it can be generous, and they're not holding back. It's a way to differentiate from the cloud storage pack, and hook more people into the Windows 8/Office 365 ecosystem."

Exactly. Plus, if a bunch of your employees already use OneDrive, it's pretty natural for your company or department to choose OneDrive for Business.
Shane M. O'Neill
Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
6/23/2014 | 4:53:15 PM
That's a lot of free storage
15GB of free storage is appealing, especially when you keep getting notices from Dropbox telling you your 2GB of free storage is almost used up. Why would I stick with Dropbox when someone else is offering 7.5 times the space?

I think Microsoft sees cloud storage as an area where it can be generous, and they're not holding back. It's a way to differentiate from the cloud storage pack, and hook more people into the Windows 8/Office 365 ecosystem.
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