Just when you start thinking Microsoft is finally paying attention to consumer-driven demands, something that is making Google’s products much more appealing to users. The Redmond Tech Company goes ahead and shoots itself in the foot by reneging on an important product that has won over more users from its competitor’s platform.
Personally I began using Google Drive (G-Drive) ever since I moved from Yahoo to Gmail, that was over a decade ago. When Microsoft introduced OneDrive with Windows 8, the number of times I have found myself using G-Drive has slowly reduced as OneDrive became the obvious cloud computing solution, especially when on a Windows device.
The same can be said about many other users around the world. Given Microsoft’s dominance in the desktop space (traditional PCs and laptops). When Microsoft introduced free 15GB storage space on OneDrive and another free 15GB storage space if you install OneDrive on your mobile device to upload automatically photos. The company offered users a total of free 30GB storage space, which is a much better bargain than the 15GB maximum free storage on G-Drive.
It is important to point out that the free 15GB storage space on mobile devices was a direct charm offensive to get users (mostly on Android) to dump G-Drive for OneDrive. A move that worked very well for the company. About a year ago, Microsoft announced that it will avail unlimited storage space to users that subscribe to Office 365. The unlimited storage space applied to both consumers and businesses that use the premium full package Office 365. It became more necessary to use cloud computing, so many users went ahead and bought the premium bigger capacity storage options available on OneDrive.
It has since emerged that some users have abused the Terms and Conditions (T&Cs) set for the unlimited OneDrive storage space. In reaction to that, Microsoft has decided to take a bizarre move by first reducing the allotted free OneDrive storage of 30GB to just 5GB. Also for Office 365 subscribers, regardless of whether they abused the T&Cs set Microsoft, the company has decided to cap their storage to a maximum of 1TB. These changes mean going forward, OneDrive users who have stored data exceeding 1TB will lose their date if they don’t find an alternative within the next 12 months.
By all rights, Microsoft should safeguard against abuse as the company say that one particular user already has over 75TB of data stored on his OneDrive account. Maybe it should do away with the unlimited storage plan and place a more reasonable cap at 2TB. However, the move to reduce the free 30GB storage for the standard users who cannot even exceed that amount is in bad taste. For some, the cloud storage across their various Windows devices is the only thing keeping them from moving to its competitors’ platforms like Google and Apple. Not to mention that the cost of cloud storage has drastically dropped over the years, so users have plenty of alternatives.
Image Credit: anandtech.com
Microsoft ought to know the Windows platform is extremely ‘appless’ when compared to Android, iOS, and Mac OS. Although we appreciate its Windows OS on conventional computer devices, its competitors offer far richer experience, especially in the mobile space. The move to cap OneDrive storage undermines the company’s slogan of “Mobile First, Cloud First”. It also makes Windows 10 less efficient given than for an enhanced experience on the new operating system one needs a considerable amount of OneDrive usage.
Users have written online petitions on various platforms like Change.org where an open letter the OneDrive team reads:
“The newest changes to the storage plans have brought much concern to the OneDrive and Windows community… Discontinuing the unlimited storage option on grounds of abuse is fair enough, but why go to the extent of punishing all your customers?”
The petition began Tuesday, November 3rd, and by the time of writing this blog, the petition had garnered over 3,800 signatures. You can join the petition at Change.org. The following is an excerpt of some of the comments being made by Windows users around the globe:
“I am using the Windows Phone ecosystem and OneDrive is [an] essential part of it. In my eyes, main storage + camera roll storage were cornerstones of the whole ecosystem. Now they are gone.” – Petr Zizka
“I do not pay for Office 364, but I do represent a big percentage of OneDrive users who had and used their 15GB of storage + extra 15GB camera roll bonus. 5GB for pictures and documents is ludicrous. This extra storage was one of the reasons I boarded the Microsoft ship, buying a Lumia, a Windows 10 PC, and an Xbox One. Is this part of the cloud strategy? If it is, your strategy should be revised.” – Tim Moose