By Stephen Pate – The cloud storage wars are in full swing with Microsoft dropping their OneDrive prices by 70% in July 2014.
OneDrive is the addictive cloud storage for Microsoft’s Windows and Office apps that also works with Apple’s desktop and mobile platforms. If you take a picture on your phone and it stores in OneDrive, it will automatically be available on your tablet or desktop once it synchronizes. You can share documents on all your computing devices, like start an Excel spreadsheet on your tablet and finish it on a laptop.
The new free storage has jumped to 15 GB from 7 GB. The real deal is Office 365 users who get a phenomenal 1 TB of cloud storage free. Every Office 365 license from the Office 365 Personal to Office 365 Enterprise gets the bump to 1 TB.
“For Office 365 Home ($9.99/mo) you’ll get 1 TB per person (up to 5 people), and with Office 365 Personal ($6.99/mo) and University ($79.99/4yr) you will get 1 TB per subscription. This is a great follow on to our April announcement that all OneDrive for Business customers will get 1 TB of cloud storage per person too.” Microsoft: Massive increase to OneDrive storage plans
For a personal user of Office 365, the 1 TB storage is free or the Office 365 annual license is free which ever way you chose to look at it.
If you have an Office 365 Home license like we do, then up to 5 people can each get their own 1 TB of storage in the Cloud.
Pricing is only one part of the puzzle. If you use Microsoft’s products like Windows, Office on a desktop, laptop, tablet, Xbox or phone like I do, they OneDrive is well-integrated into those Microsoft brands. If you live in the Apple ecosystem with iPad, iPhone and Mac computers then you may find Apple’s iCloud works better for you.
I have both Apple and Microsoft products but prefer OneDrive which also works with Apple. “With such similar pricing, the main differentiator seems to be a dedicated OneDrive application for accessing files on iOS as well as the Office apps, which some Apple users still prefer over iWork,” writes 9 to 5 Mac.
This is a great deal. Last year I paid $50 for 100 GB of OneDrive, formerly called SkyDrive. I got another 100 GB bump up since then and I need more space. When I renew our license next week for $99, our OneDrive storage will take a big bump.
Photos are the worst space hog but there are also videos from my Windows Phone, music and documents that I share across desktops.
You can use 1 TB of OneDrive cloud storage to load your music and avoid paying Xbox Music $99 a year for their cloud storage and matching.
PC World said Microsoft is being competitive with Google. “Google’s services also offer 15 Gbytes of free storage, spread out over Google+, Picasa, and Gmail. And although Google recently cut the prices of its paid storage options for Google Apps customers to 1 terabyte for $9.99 per month, it only offers 30 Gbytes for free.”
Of course, with Google you don’t get Microsoft Office which is the preferred office productivity app of most people, with 90% market share.
At this point Dropbox with only 2 GB of free storage is not competitive.
The downside to cloud storage is that your documents are stored on someone else’s servers, probably in the USA, and if the NSA wants to spy on you they will. Most companies will not post their confidential documents in the cloud until the US government can guarantee privacy, post-Snowdon. Microsoft is protesting but there is not much they can do at this point. Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Assails Secret Surveillance Court
If the NSA wants to check my family snaps, go for it.
For a comparison of the different cloud offerings see Compare OneDrive.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network