Microsoft reneges on ‘unlimited’ OneDrive storage promise for Office 365 subscribers

A little over a year ago, Microsoft announced with great fanfare that all Office 365 subscribers would get ‘unlimited’ OneDrive storage. Tonight, months after an executive shakeup, the company says it has no intention of keeping those promises.

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Microsoft blames a few greedy storage users for the change in heart. “A small number of users,” they wrote, “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.”  A terabyte is indeed a lot of space, and most Office 365 subscribers will never come close to that limit.  But those who have need to begin making other plans.  In the past year, the OneDrive team has been in disarray. Early in the Windows 10 preview cycle, the company removed a major feature that it had launched with Windows 8.1, dropping the ability to sync “placeholders” of files stored in the cloud. At the time, a OneDrive spokesperson promised that the feature would return before the end of 2015, although it looks increasingly likely that that promise will also fall short.

The unified sync Windows 10 sync client combing OneDrive (consumer) with OneDrive for Business is now available as a private preview release but hasn’t yet reached the public.  Chris Jones was abruptly reassigned from his duties as head of the division in March, taking the summer off and then returning this fall “in a role yet to be publicly shared.” That sort of personnel move, at a time when the division was supposed to be in a full sprint toward the launch of Windows 10, isn’t a good sign for those expecting stability.  At the same time it made the consumer OneDrive announcements, Microsoft also told its Office 365 business and enterprise subscribers that they could expect unlimited storage in OneDrive for Business.

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