Microsoft announced on Monday that it would be reducing the amount of storage allotted to both Office 365 and free OneDrive cloud storage users, as well as eliminating its “unlimited” option. The company says a small number of users abused the “unlimited” storage, and the changes were needed to “ensure that we can continue to deliver a collaborative, connected and intelligent service.”
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. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.
Office 365 Home, Personal and University subscribers will now be limited to 1TB of cloud storage, while 100GB and 200GB plans are being eliminated, to be replaced with a 50GB $1.99 per month plan. Free OneDrive users will be limited to 5GB of storage, down from 15GB. The 15GB camera roll storage bonus will also be eliminated. The changes will take effect in early 2016.
Microsoft says Office 365 users who have more than 1TB of storage will be notified and will be allowed to keep the increased storage for a period of 12 months. Customers who no longer want to make use of the service due to the changes will be given a prorated refund. Free users who are using more then 5GB of storage will have access to all of their files for 12 months, and will receive a free one-year subscription to Office 365, which includes 1 TB of OneDrive storage.