Running a cloud storage, of course, costs money and offering some amount of that space for free will incur some amount of loss. It can also be prone to abuse, whether free or paid, and sometimes you just have to set your foot down. But when you punish well-meaning, innocent users along with the bad, you’re bound to get some very unhappy, not to mention vocal, people. It’s a lesson Microsoft learned the hard way when it nerfed its OneDrive storage space for existing free users, which It is now returning with an apology.
Early last November, Microsoft announced that it was making some very huge changes to its OneDrive cloud storage schema. Office 365 users who had unlimited space will now see their accounts reduced to 1 GB. Free users who enjoyed 15 GB, plus 15 GB more for a camera roll promo, would not be left with only 5 GB flat.
The official reason is to “optimized” Microsoft’s OneCloud business but also to curb abuse of the storage space. Apparently some unlimited users got the wild idea to turn OneDrive into their personal media library backup. The rationale might have been justified but execuation was flawed. For one, it affected legitimate, even paying, customers. For another, it applied to existing users, which was akin to asking back a gift you gave before. Naturally, there was a flood of negative feedback offer the past few weeks, which is somewhat ending with a reparation and an apology from Microsoft Program Manager Douglas Pearce.
In a nutshell, existing users on the free tier who had 15 GB on OneDrive before, which was when Microsoft bumped up the starter’s pack, can have it back again. If they also had 15 GB more via a Camera Roll promo, they can have that too. And Microsoft isn’t going to rescind it even after the changes get implemented next year. The one catch: you have to sign up to get it back before January 31, 2016, otherwise that space is lost forever.
To be clear, the changes are still coming. OneDrive will still be offering 5 GB of space for new users and Office 365 customers will still be limited to 1 TB starting next year. Although Microsoft is indeed returning what it shouldn’t have taken back in the first place, the question now is whether OneDrive will remain an enticing, not to mention reliable, service moving forward.