Inexpensive cloud storage services are fast becoming a battleground for the world’s largest software companies, from Amazon’s new Fire phone with unlimited photo storage, to Apple’s recent announcement of a cut of prices of nearly 70% for iCloud plans, even hardware giant ASUS is entering the market. action.
Microsoft, following in the footsteps of rivals such as Apple and Google, announced on June 23 that its popular cloud storage service OneDrive would expand its tier of free storage and lower the costs of its paid plans.
The changes will be made in July, with OneDrive’s free storage allowance more than doubled, offering 15 gigabytes (GB) to all users of the service. Paid plans include an additional 100GB for $ 1.99 per month ($ 23.88 per year) and 200GB for $ 3.99 per month / $ 47.88 per year; Both plans have a 52% price decrease over their current offerings.
OneDrive’s new pricing is in line with Apple’s 100GB Google Drive and 200GB plans, each of which offers rates of about 24 cents per gigabyte, per year.
Even more impressive was Microsoft’s announcement of the huge increase in storage space for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers. The subscription-based Office suite currently offers users 27GB of cloud storage; next month, that will increase to a terabyte, more than 37 times the previous storage space. Office 365 University, a four-year program for students, will also receive the 1 TB storage increase for free.
By comparison, Google Apps, a free cloud-based application suite that provides services similar to Microsoft Office, comes with just 15GB of free storage, just 2% of the new Office 365 plan.
In addition, Office 365 Home, which currently includes the full Office suite for up to five PCs / Macs, will grant each user 1 TB of storage, that is, up to 5 TB of cloud storage and one year of Office 365 for $ 100. .
With Microsoft, Google, Apple, and even ASUS now having similar pricing options for cloud storage, it may lead to more emphasis being placed on the cloud services that come with storage, rather than the amount of storage in it. Yes.
It also raises questions about whether and when the other large cloud-based storage companies will lower prices to compete; Dropbox and Amazon, whose 100GB options cost $ 99 and $ 50 respectively, are now priced far higher than their competitors for the same service.
The updated Microsoft OneDrive and Office 365 storage fabric will roll out sometime in July, and current paid subscribers will automatically move to the lower prices.