Microsoft limits unlimited OneDrive for Business storage

Microsoft announced on the 16th December 2015 that only the most expensive enterprise Office 365 subscription plans will be eligible for an unlimited OneDrive for Business storage allocation.

Coming so soon after last month’s decision to remove unlimited storage from all consumer grade Office 365 plans, Microsoft’s latest move was another sign that truly unlimited plans might be some way off.

Microsoft said the reason for scrapping the unlimited model is, “Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, 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 explanation does not quite explain why Microsoft felt the need to “punish” free users and the paid OneDrive users who upgraded their storage quota to 100 or 200 Gigabyte for the actions of some.

This is despite Microsoft’s recent Office 365 Marketing literature claiming “all Office 365 customers will get unlimited OneDrive storage at no additional cost”

Enterprise plans E1, E3 and E5 with fewer than 5 users will have restrictions placed on storage limiting then to just 1TB per user with Microsoft is also allowing the Office 365 ProPlus, Home, Personal, or University subscribers ProPlus to have up to 1TB per registered user.

Microsoft clarified their position in a post on the 16th December 2015

Office 365 customers on our premium Enterprise, Government and Education plans will receive OneDrive for Business unlimited storage. Specifically, this includes unlimited storage for individuals in organizations with more than five people subscribing to one of the following plans:

  • Office 365 Enterprise E3, E4 and E5
  • Office 365 Government E3, E4 and E5
  • Office 365 Education
  • OneDrive for Business Plan 2 and SharePoint Online Plan 2

We will begin rolling out increased storage to these customers by the end of this month, starting with an automatic increase from 1 TB to 5 TB per user. We expect this rollout to complete by the end of March 2016. After this point, customers who want additional storage can request it as needed by contacting Microsoft support.

Customers on all other Office 365 Enterprise, Business and standalone plans that include OneDrive for Business will continue to receive 1 TB of storage per user. While customers on these plans will not receive the full unlimited benefit, we expect it will serve the vast majority of users. Today, most OneDrive for Business users consume significantly less than 1 TB.

Overall, we have taken too long to provide an update on our storage plans around OneDrive for Business. We also recognize we are disappointing customers who expected unlimited storage across every Office 365 plan, and I want to apologize for not meeting your expectations. We are committed to earning your business every day by delivering a great productivity and collaboration service and improving our communication approach.


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