In a shift, Microsoft to offer OneDrive as standalone service for businesses

business-introMicrosoft plans to give businesses the ability to buy standalone subscriptions to its OneDrive service, attempting to compete more effectively with Box and other rivals in cloud storage and collaboration.

OneDrive for Business — formerly known as SkyDrive Pro — has previously been available to businesses only as part of costlier Office 365 and SharePoint Online plans from Microsoft. Those packages will remain available, but Microsoft is also aiming to lower the barrier to adoption by offering OneDrive on a standalone basis.

The news was announced this morning in conjunction with the company’s SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas, where Microsoft is also showing new features for Office 365 including a new smart social dashboard code-named “Oslo.”

The standalone OneDrive for Business service will be available starting in April, working in conjunction with Microsoft’s browser-based Office Online web applications. The standard OneDrive for Business plan will cost $5/user per month, with a storage limit of 25 GB per user. Microsoft will also offer promotional pricing that will reduce the price to $2.50/user per month from April to September.

By comparison, Box’s pricing for companies starts at $5/user per month for up to 10 users, with 100GB of storage each. We’ve contacted Box to see if the company wants to weigh in on Microsoft’s news.

  • dcj001

    Microsoft OneDrive is needed to store Office files for smartphones and tablets. OneDrive is really pretty good – a lot like Dropbox.

    If you sign up through this referral link, you will receive an additional 0.5GB of online storage:

    https://onedrive.live.com?invref=943cc0b11ce9ff04&invsrc=90