Microsoft Dumps OneDrive Unlimited Storage after Customers Use It

Microsoft is dramatically scaling back its OneDrive cloud storage options after finding out that if you give customers unlimited storage they'll actually use it. Unlimited storage caps for Office 365 Home, Personal, and University subscribers is dropping to 1 TB, and the free 15 GB everyone gets is dropping to 5 GB.

Goodbye unlimited OneDrive storageGoodbye unlimited OneDrive storage

The catalyst for the change was the amount of storage customers were using. The company said in a blog post,

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. 

Sure, that's a lot, but Microsoft did say OneDrive storage was unlimited and that customers could store whatever they wanted. Some Office subscribers took the company's offer at face value and uploaded everything they could.

The company is also ditching its 100 GB and 200 GB storage plans and replacing them with a single 50 GB plan that costs US$1.99 a month. Users who currently pay for the now deprecated storage plans can keep them, but they won't be available to new customers.

Customers using more than 1 TB of storage will have 12 months to clear out files to get below their data cap, as will free account users with more than 5 GB of data online.

"OneDrive has always been designed to be more than basic file storage and backup," the company said. "These changes are needed to ensure that we can continue to deliver a collaborative, connected, and intelligent service."

That may be so, but Microsoft has been advertising OneDrive as "One place for everything in your life." Maybe they should change that to "One place for everything in your life that fits in our idea of how you should use our cloud storage service and doesn't exceed 1 TB. Or 5 GB."

Microsoft's explanation for ditching its unlimited storage plans and reducing its lower storage cap options feels more like the company wasn't prepared for the volume of data customers would upload, doesn't have the infrastructure in place to accommodate them, and now is losing money.

Oh, Microsoft. Bless your little heart.