Microsoft turns off unlimited OneDrive for Office 365, blames greedy users

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.


It turns out unlimited does not mean unlimited after all: Microsoft has reneged on its plans to give Office 365 subscribers unlimited OneDrive cloud storage, capping each account at 1 TB.

This is perhaps being a little harsh, and isn’t a particularly egregious rewriting of the English language. Microsoft’s reason for cutting back on OneDrive and its unlimited access, available for just over a year, is that some people are just too greedy for their own good.

“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,” a OneDrive company blog post reads. “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,” it adds.

Suffice it to say the news has not gone down well on all sides, with many commenters , notably in the video production and photography industries, raging against the decision. It also makes an interesting comparison with a piece CloudTech published this time last year, criticising Bitcasa for binning its $10 unlimited cloud storage option and praising Microsoft for the opposite. At the time, Bitcasa blamed the shuttering on “abusers”, or in other words businesses using individual storage accounts. Now the tables have turned.

“OneDrive has always been designed to be more than basic file storage and backup,” the company post continues. “These changes are needed to ensure that we can continue to deliver a collaborative, connected, and intelligent service.”

The service is not going away immediately however; users will have a year to move their data over the 1 TB limit elsewhere, while consumers who ‘find that Office 365 no longer meets [their] needs’ will be given a pro-rated refund.

You can find out more here.

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