Microsoft OneDrive is raising its free storage capacity to 15 GB for personal accounts (from 7 GB previously), lowering the prices for its premium plans by more than 70 percent, and giving Office 365 Home users a full terabyte of storage, up from 27 GB in the past.
The moves, announced this morning, are the latest salvo in the tech industry’s cloud storage wars. The Redmond company is competing against the likes of Dropbox, Google, Box, and Amazon, which last week announced plans to give users of its new Fire Phone unlimited cloud storage for their photos.
“Our data tells us that 3 out of 4 people have less than 15 GB of files stored on their PC,” says Omar Shahine, a OneDrive group program manager, in a post announcing the moves. “Factoring in what they may also have stored on other devices, we believe providing 15 GB for free right out of the gate – with no hoops to jump through – will make it much easier for people to have their documents, videos, and photos available in one place.”
The mention of jumping through hoops was an implicit reference to Dropbox, which gives users 2 GB of free storage initially but lets them increase the limit by, for example, referring friends to use the service.
Microsoft had previously announced plans to raise the storage for Office 365 business users to 1 terabyte, but the change announced this morning expands that capacity to all Office 365 users. For Office 365 Home subscriptions, the storage limit will be 1 TB per person, for up to 5 people on an account. For Office 365 Personal and University subscriptions, the limit will be 1 TB per subscription.
For people who don’t have Office 365 accounts, the company dropped the price of premium storage to $1.99/month for 100 GB (down from $7.49/month previously) and $3.99/month for 200 GB of storage (down from $11.49/month previously.)
It’s part of the company’s larger focus on Office 365 as its flagship productivity service, attempting to boost usage of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and related services across a variety of devices in the face of tough competition from newer productivity apps and cloud services.