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Microsoft slashes your cloud storage

Microsoft slashes your cloud storage
Microsoft OneDrive

It seems like just last year we were writing about how much free or cheap storage you got with OneDrive, Microsoft's cloud storage service. Actually, it WAS last year! But now the free ride is over.

If you subscribe to Microsoft Office 365, you are no doubt well aware of the biggest perk: UNLIMITED cloud storage space. According to a post on the official OneDrive blog, your sweet, infinite cloud storage space is now just one terabyte. That's a fair amount of space, but it's a far cry from unlimited.

If you were enjoying the free 15 GB of OneDrive space offered up to anyone and everyone with a Microsoft account, you now have only 5 GB. That's a real shame: 15 GB of free space was the only thing keeping OneDrive in competition with Google. Google Drive still offers 15 GB free. iCloud offers 5 GB and Dropbox offers 2 GB.

If you subscribed separately to OneDrive, you had a choice between 100 GB at $1.99 and 200 GB at $3.99. Now you can only choose 50 GB at a cost of $1.99 a month.

For Office 365 subscribers, there's really no good news to this story. The deal is gone, but your data will remain intact and stored for the next 12 months. You have exactly one year to migrate any amount of data over the 1 TB cap to another cloud service or your local drive. The same goes if you have the base 15 GB of storage. You have a year to cut down to 5 GB or less.

If you paid for a 100 GB or 200 GB plan, you get to keep your deal, but any new subscribers get the new deals.

A lot of people signed up for Office 365 mainly (or solely) for the unlimited storage. If that's you, Microsoft says it will offer a pro-rated refund for your subscription costs. Check out this FAQ to see if you qualify and find out how to get your refund.

Actually, it's mainly because of people who took advantage of the deal that caused Microsoft to walk back on it. According to Microsoft, "a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average."

The dream of cheap, unlimited storage may be dead, but there are still ways to get your money's worth in the cloud. For example, Google Drive still offers the industry-leading best free storage space at 15 GB. Also, check out this great way to integrate Google Drive with Microsoft Office. And not only that, but if you use Google Photos, you can store an infinite number of photos for free.

Click here to get a breakdown of each cloud storage service to compare them.

This change by Microsoft is a good example why cloud storage services might not always be the best idea for backing up your computer. If you're confused about the difference between cloud storage and cloud backup, here's a tip you might find helpful, as well as Kim's recommended cloud backup service.

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Source: The Verge
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