Microsoft ditching unlimited OneDrive, blames user abuse

3 Nov 2015

It appears that when it comes to unlimited storage, Microsoft feels that some of its users were taking advantage of it, and it has decided to scale back its allotted data allocation.

Those who had paid into an unlimited cloud storage with OneDrive had until now received just that, with users backing up all their data through the service but now, according to Microsoft, it’s all gotten a little out of hand.

In a blog post, the company said that the small amount of users who were seemingly taking advantage of its offer had “backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75TB per user or 14,000 times the average.”

As a result, those subscribed to Microsoft’s unlimited deal will now be restricted to a maximum of 1TB.

“Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios,” Microsoft said, “we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.”

The unlimited offer has only been around for just over a year to those signed up to Office 365 Home, Personal and University, and these new restrictions will come into effect sometime in early 2016.

In the meantime, those who Microsoft believes to be abusing the unlimited offer have been given a 12 month grace period to move their files to at most 1TB.

Perhaps equally disappointing for free customers is the decision to lower the free OneDrive storage of 15GB to 5GB.

How this will appear to the consumer, as well as the industry, will be interesting, given that many of Microsoft’s competitors continue to expand their cloud services, particularly Google, which now stands alone as having 15GB of allocated free storage.

OneDrive on phone image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic