Well, that didn’t last long.
Not only will Office 365 users be capped at 1 TB of space, the company is replacing its standalone 100 and 200 GB plans with a 50 GB plan and lowering storage for free accounts from 15 GB to 5 GB.
The changes essentially bring Microsoft back to the rest of the pack, eliminating a major differentiator between its cloud storage offerings and those from competitors.
For comparison, Google Drive still offers 15 GB of free space, three times as much as OneDrive. While $1.99 will get you 100 GB from Google, it will get you 50 GB from Microsoft. Google also offers options to buy 10 TB, 20 TB and 30 TB of cloud storage.
Microsoft says the changes had to be made because a few users were abusing the system and using OneDrive as a place to drop everything from DVR recordings, to movie collections and PC backups. Of course, that’s the risk when you give users unlimited space. But it appears the offer ended up being costlier than anticipated.
“OneDrive has always been designed to be more than basic file storage and backup,” Microsoft wrote in a blog post. “These changes are needed to ensure that we can continue to deliver a collaborative, connected, and intelligent service.”
The company will be phasing the new limits in, so you still have time if you are one of those heavy OneDrive users.
Office 365 customers who are using more than 1 TB of space will be able to keep their files there for at least 12 months. If that was a major reason you were subscribed to the productivity suite to begin with, Microsoft is offering a pro-rated refund for your subscription.
Users already paying for the now defunct 100 and 200 GB plans will be grandfathered in, so the changes won’t affect them.
The free space limits will be rolled back in early 2016. Users with more than 5 GB saved on OneDrive will still be able to access their files for 12 months and they’ll be given a free one-year subscription to Office 365, complete with 1 TB of storage.