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6/23/2014
04:05 PM
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Microsoft OneDrive: Cloud Storage Price Showdown

Microsoft has boosted cloud storage and dropped prices. Is OneDrive now the best deal in town?

Cloud Contracts: 8 Questions To Ask
Cloud Contracts: 8 Questions To Ask
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Microsoft announced a revamped pricing structure Monday for its OneDrive cloud storage service, including 15 GB free for all users, and price reductions of up to 70% for paid customers. Microsoft was relatively late to the cloud storage game and has fewer users than popular competitors such as Dropbox and Google. With aggressive new prices, the company hopes to gain ground in the crowded field while bolstering its other cloud services.

Under the new terms, Office 365 customers now get 1 TB of storage, up from a mere 20 GB per account before. Those who pay for OneDrive but not Office can get 100 GB for $1.99 per month and 200 GB for $3.99 per month. Those plans previously cost $7.49 and $11.49, respectively. As mentioned, free accounts now include 15 GB of storage, up from 7 GB.

The new prices will become effective in the next month. Current accounts will be automatically upgraded.

Microsoft's new pricing tiers are very competitive and only the newest act in an escalating competition among cloud storage providers to offer more capacity for less money. In terms of free storage, OneDrive matches Google at 15 GB. Box and Dropbox offer only 10 GB and 2 GB for free. Apple's upcoming iCloud Drive will offer only 5 GB for free.

[A Microsoft VP predicts the cloud will evolve into just a few big players. Read more from the Structure conference: Cloud Trends To Watch: Structure 2014.]

For paid plans, Google charges $1.99 per month for 100 GB and $9.99 monthly for 1 TB. Dropbox appears to be falling behind on pure price competitiveness, offering only 100 GB for $9.99 per month and charging a steep $49.99 monthly for 500 GB. When it launches this year, iCloud Drive will offer 20 GB for $0.99 monthly and a OneDrive-matching 200 GB for $3.99 per month.

The new OneDrive plans could help Microsoft push Office 365 subscriptions. The 1 TB storage allotment applies to all consumer packages, even Office 365 Personal, which costs only $6.99 per month. At such a low price, the storage alone would be competitive. Dropbox charges $9.99 per month for only 100 GB, for example. For the same amount, Microsoft's Office 365 Home offers 1 TB each for up to five users -- a much better deal if you're looking to maximize capacity. The fact that 365 subscribers get current versions of all Office apps in addition to OneDrive should only sweeten the deal. At least, that's what Microsoft surely hopes.

As the potential OneDrive-Office 365 synergies demonstrate, Microsoft and many of its competitors believe cloud storage sits at the center of cloud ecosystems. If users store their pictures and files in one place, they don't want to jump through a lot of hoops to share or edit them. For precisely this reason, Apple bakes iCloud into its devices, operating systems, and services, just like Microsoft does. However, Microsoft has also pushed OneDrive as a cross-platform service, including releasing apps for iOS and Android. Time will tell if OneDrive's Office tie-ins, aggressive pricing, and multi-platform strategy help it stand out.

Here's a step-by-step plan to mesh IT goals with business and customer objectives and, critically, measure your initiatives to ensure that the business is successful. Get the How To Tie Tech Innovation To Business Strategy report today (registration required).

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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Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
6/23/2014 | 4:53:15 PM
That's a lot of free storage
15GB of free storage is appealing, especially when you keep getting notices from Dropbox telling you your 2GB of free storage is almost used up. Why would I stick with Dropbox when someone else is offering 7.5 times the space?

I think Microsoft sees cloud storage as an area where it can be generous, and they're not holding back. It's a way to differentiate from the cloud storage pack, and hook more people into the Windows 8/Office 365 ecosystem.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
6/23/2014 | 5:01:07 PM
Re: That's a lot of free storage
"I think Microsoft sees cloud storage as an area where it can be generous, and they're not holding back. It's a way to differentiate from the cloud storage pack, and hook more people into the Windows 8/Office 365 ecosystem."

Exactly. Plus, if a bunch of your employees already use OneDrive, it's pretty natural for your company or department to choose OneDrive for Business.
Jack N FranF583
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Jack N FranF583,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/24/2014 | 1:21:57 AM
Re: That's a lot of free storage
1 Tbit is not a lot of storage. Look at it this way. The free version of Google Fiber 1Mbps up and 5 Mbps down will take 12 days to fill a Tbit memory with 30 Netflix movies and a three day binge to watch (download) them all. So even web-urchins need a Tbit cloud-drive. Little Orphen Annie on Microsoft's One Drive, the bleeding heart Net-neutrality liberals will love Microsoft.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
6/23/2014 | 5:10:48 PM
Battle at Scale
It's difficult to see how Dropbox, Box, and the 398 other cloud storage wannabes that emerged in the last 18 months or so, can possibly hang with Microsoft, not to mention Apple and Google, in this price war. 
kwjtweets
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kwjtweets,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/23/2014 | 5:31:24 PM
Muddled Branding for OneDrive for Business has a tendency to confuse.
It's not as rosy as it sounds.  OneDrive for Business effectively refers to multiple components including Cloud Storage under SharePoint Personal Sites and Desktop Software for Windows (no Mac version yet).  SharePoint Personal Sites are a subset of SharePoint Online. Many business managers seemingly think that OneDrive for Business might let them store more company files in the cloud, but that's not quite the case.  For that you need SharePoint Team Sites along with Office Online and some OneDrive for Business Desktop Software synchronization.  To muddle it further, OneDrive for Business differs immensely from OneDrive, the consumer product.  Not too thrilled with the implementation either, http://kwjblogs.blogspot.com/2014/06/moving-google-drive-to-onedrive-for.html.  
jagibbons
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jagibbons,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2014 | 8:33:43 AM
Re: Muddled Branding for OneDrive for Business has a tendency to confuse.
OneDrive for Business is tied to SharePoint as part of Office 365, but that is still a preferred enterprise-grade solution to Dropbox or Box. Office 365 provides far more robust storage, security, versioning and sharing capabilities for any company that already uses Microsoft products.
D.M. Romano
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D.M. Romano,
User Rank: Moderator
6/24/2014 | 10:49:50 AM
Going rate
The 15 GB free for all users seems to be the "going rate" for freebies amongs these cloud storage sites. I use Google Drive and Barracuda's Copy drive as well. Both of which are both solid services. Though I think their mobile integration isn't he best. 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 2:13:31 AM
Re: Going rate
I like 15GB of storage for sure but I sometimes don't think that is enough.   I guess for most people it is - but then again I don't want to pay for the extra storage either.
D.M. Romano
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D.M. Romano,
User Rank: Moderator
6/25/2014 | 7:17:32 AM
Re: Going rate
@technocrati - I'm completely with you. I purchased a Morotola MAXX from Verizon last year and it came with this promotion that gave me 50GB additional for two years with Google Drive. I've gotten so used to that now that next year I'll likely have to pay for it monthly because I have so many of my docs in there. 
Technocrati
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Technocrati,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 2:43:06 PM
Re: Going rate
@D.M.  Romano     That's how they get you, I spend a lot of time deleting things just so I don't reach the limit - to which I am about half way there anyway.

There was a time I didn't even notice the amount of storage used, but as you mention, we are getting more of it daily and the next thing you know you are at 8G.   

And you know those pictures you just took are a half a Gig at least.

Funny managing storage is like is like trying to bail out water from a sinking boat with a bucket.  Good Luck.   

I know one of these days I will have to come to grips with it but for now I just want to keep my head buried in the sand.
D.M. Romano
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D.M. Romano,
User Rank: Moderator
6/25/2014 | 2:46:08 PM
Re: Going rate
@Technocrati - You make a good point, that IS how they get you. It's very much a concept used in retail banking. Getting people to use as many products as you can, then making it difficult to move (or in IT terms, migrate). 
stotheco
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stotheco,
User Rank: Ninja
6/25/2014 | 3:42:51 PM
Re: Going rate
DM Romano, definitely. That's how you lock them down. It is a like a last ditch effort to discourage them from making the move or going to make a switch: make it difficult so they will throw in the towel and just continue with the service, for the sake of convenience.
D.M. Romano
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D.M. Romano,
User Rank: Moderator
6/25/2014 | 3:46:19 PM
Re: Going rate
@stotheco - This is obviously nothing new. We all hate change in one capacity or another. Heck the only reason I'm with Bank of America still is because I'm too lazy to switch out all my auto-debits. :)
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
6/26/2014 | 3:13:43 PM
Re: Going rate
If 15 GB isn't enough, I expect it's only a matter of time until the offer becomes even more generous. There's gonna be an arms race for cloud storage, especially now that the biggest companies see the relationship between free/cheap capacity and the rest of their ecosystem. I think Lorna's right; as this escalates, it'll be hard to know how all the start ups will be able to compete with the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. When you have a ton of money and experience running big cloud services, it's no big deal to add capacity. 
D.M. Romano
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D.M. Romano,
User Rank: Moderator
6/26/2014 | 3:34:14 PM
Re: Going rate
@Michael - There's no quesion about the fact that the competition will have a tough time. I think we're past the notion of finding any start up's that could match what the big guys can place. Between Box, Dropbox, and Citrix ShareFile, one will be hard pressed to compete with even them, let alone the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. I sense integration efforts from start ups, but space is limited in the cloud space offerings nowadays. 
sarasota786
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sarasota786,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 9:13:18 AM
Re: Going rate
How to say that mobile integration isn't he best. In this site i was searching about cloud, cloud computing cloudwedge and i found these thread for cloud you say for the mobile sim rate here. if you want many info about cloud then follow cloud comment. thanks
anon8102748224
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anon8102748224,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/30/2014 | 5:21:35 AM
Check out the cloud storage Copy
Guys, check out the cloud storage Copy. It is excellent and cheaper than Dropbox. Copy is the new Dropbox now. I use both currently, but Copy offers you more space for free than Dropbox. Both are good and both come with the desktop client to sync your files to their cloud servers. Check it out and use this link to sign up for Copy to get 20GB free instead of the regular 15GB

https://copy.com?r=DFygGq
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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