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4/29/2014
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Microsoft Boosts OneDrive: 1 TB Per User

Microsoft bumps OneDrive for Business capacity to 1 TB per user -- and draws the ire of Box CEO Aaron Levie.

Microsoft Office For iPad: 7 Questions Answered
Microsoft Office For iPad: 7 Questions Answered
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Microsoft on Monday upgraded its OneDrive for Business product, boosting per-user storage capacity to 1 TB. The company announced the change in a blog post titled "Thinking outside the box," an ostensible jab at competitors such as Box and Dropbox.

Earlier this month Microsoft introduced OneDrive, previously available only as part of certain Office 365 subscriptions, as a standalone offer with 25 GB of storage. With the newest announcement, the company not only expanded OneDrive for Business's storage capacity, but also added the product to additional Office 365 packages and announced a new migration service to help customers move their data.

In the blog, Microsoft Corporate VP John Case noted that many business apps invade the enterprise through individuals or departments rather than via companywide deployments. According to Microsoft, this tactic is disjointed.

"Smart businesses are now choosing partners that have a holistic, comprehensive, and connected set of cloud offerings, and in doing so [are] creating a 'data culture' in their organization," wrote Case, arguing that a tightly integrated suite of products beats one that's been cobbled together from disparate sources.

[How is new CEO Satya Nadella shaking up Microsoft? Read Microsoft's Mobile First, Cloud First Strategy, Explained.]

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said earlier this month that Office 365 will help companies to implement "data cultures" via newly announced tools such as Office Graph, which learns the collaborators and content most important to the user, or Power BI, which can translate abstract analytics into intuitive visualizations.

Some Office customers maintain that older versions are good enough and they do not need to upgrade. Others have moved on to competing, and often cheaper, productivity products such as Google Docs or Apple's iWork. Nadella's "data culture" plan attempts to circumvent these challenges by creating new value within Office's somewhat commodified feature set -- including, in the case of OneDrive for Business, a storage and file sync product that stitches everything together.

Most new Office features are available first -- and in some cases exclusively -- in Office 365 rather than standalone licenses. Since launching over a year ago, the cloud-based service has grown rapidly. Microsoft recently announced Office 365 is on pace for over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, helping Windows Azure to a 150% year-over-year revenue increase. CFO Amy Hood said during last week's earnings call that initial subscription renewal rates were promising.

As mentioned, Microsoft's references to a "connected set of cloud offerings" and "thinking outside the box" appear to be shots at competitors. Box CEO Aaron Levie certainly seemed to think so. In a blog post, he responded to Microsoft's news, writing, "By keeping Office 365 users on the closed OneDrive 'island,' Microsoft is stranding hundreds of millions of users and customers that have chosen Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and others."

Levie added that Microsoft's recently release Office for iPad suite, widely heralded as a cross-platform play, has made it harder -- not easier -- for users to get the most out of the software, because it syncs with OneDrive but not with other popular services, such as Box. Box and Dropbox both say their products offer unlimited storage.

All Office 365 products that are already included OneDrive for Business now include the 1 TB upgrade. Microsoft also added OneDrive for Business to its Office 365 ProPlus subscriptions. Office 365 costs vary according to features and number of users, with many packages running between $5 and $20 per month per user. Until October, Microsoft is offering OneDrive for Business at promotional prices as low as $2.50 per month per user.

Microsoft said it will help customers move their data from other storage products, but customers will need to contact their account managers for additional details.

Can the trendy tech strategy of DevOps really bring peace between developers and IT operations -- and deliver faster, more reliable app creation and delivery? Also in the DevOps Challenge issue of InformationWeek: Execs charting digital business strategies can't afford to take Internet connectivity for granted.

Michael Endler joined InformationWeek as an associate editor in 2012. He previously worked in talent representation in the entertainment industry, as a freelance copywriter and photojournalist, and as a teacher. Michael earned a BA in English from Stanford University in 2005 ... View Full Bio

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Li Tan
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Li Tan,
User Rank: Ninja
5/4/2014 | 4:34:21 AM
Re: Shocked! SHOCKED!
The security is always of concern in the cloud. There is no doubt that cloud computing offers convenience, flexibility and extremly powerful "do it anywhere" functionality. In another hand, you rely on cloud providers to store and protect your data. I have to say you need to trust your cloud provider to some extent to enjoy the power provided by cloud.:-)
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 2:21:40 PM
Re: Shocked! SHOCKED!
I think that's a good general point about cloud storage for business. So long as you trust the provider, the concept of making your information available from anywhere (or at least anywhere that you can log in to the cloud) may indeed prevent the usual "Oh, I'll email it to myself at home so I can finish working on it there" problems. Good thinking, Stratustician.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 2:16:04 PM
Re: Shocked! SHOCKED!
It makes sense from a consolidation standpoint for businesses as they no doubt want to avoid users using other storage options like Dropbox or Box.  By touting such a high storage capacity per user, I can see businesses saying "well, at least we have a ton of room for folks to keep their files, so they're less likely to start sending them outside the work environment."  That could be a huge win for Microsoft, build the ecosystem and enough space in it to keep users happy on their massive island instead of trying to build bridges to other ones.  
jgherbert
IW Pick
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 9:35:18 AM
Re: Shocked! SHOCKED!
We're in agreement... I don't expect Microsoft to do anything but what they did here. Similarly, Apple's tie in to iCloud is inevitable as that's their revenue stream, hence my somewhat tongue in cheek suggestion that Apple will join the altruistic bandwagon and open their tools up to any third party service available.

There's no motivation - yet, at least - that I can see for either company to change their approach, annoying as it may be to users of other services.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
4/30/2014 | 9:19:33 AM
Re: Shocked! SHOCKED!
Sure, that's a reasonable wish from Drobbox, Box, etc. as well as many users. But Microsoft is in business to maximize profit, data collection, and use of its cloud.
jgherbert
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jgherbert,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2014 | 12:48:33 AM
Re: Shocked! SHOCKED!
Right - what they're saying is that applications should support multiple cloud storage options and not just the one chosen by the vendor. Apple will want to do the same and offer dropbox as an alternative to iCloud, despite the fact that selling capacity upgrades for iCloud is a revenue stream for them...
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
4/29/2014 | 2:24:21 PM
Shocked! SHOCKED!
I'm sure Nadella got a chuckle from Levie's blog post. "By keeping Office 365 users on the closed OneDrive 'island,' Microsoft is stranding hundreds of millions of users and customers that have chosen Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and others."

Um, yeah. That's kinda the point. 
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
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