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Loyal OneDrive users disbanding as unlimited storage ends

The hotly contested changes were announced on the OneDrive blog. The team says they have been made “in pursuit of productivity in collaboration,” a debatable claim seeing as many users will now end up with less space to store files in.
Microsoft has seen a “small number” of users apparently exceed their fair use of its “unlimited” OneDrive plan. Some people have used as much as 75 terabytes of cloud storage to back up vast archives of movies and data from “numerous PCs.” Because of this, the company is capping storage — for everybody.
Unlimited storage will no longer be available to Office 365 Home, Personal or University subscribers. It will be replaced with a single capped terabyte instead. The option of paid 100GB or 200GB plans is also being withdrawn in favour of a 50GB plan that costs $1.99 a month.
The change is likely to affect most users regards free storage though. All OneDrive customers, current and new, will now have just 5GB of free space, down from what used to be a very widely advertised 15GB. Users could expand that 15GB to 30GB by enabling automatic camera roll backup and automatically saving their photos to OneDrive but Microsoft is also axing that option, leaving former users with a sixth of the space they once had.
According to Microsoft, the changes will let it focus on “delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users” but its excuses are falling on thousands of deaf ears among its former loyal community of fans. A campaign on the company’s UserVoice forums has already acquired over 20,000 votes to bring back the old plans while the comments section includes posts by users who steadfastly claim they have actually cancelled pre-orders for Microsoft’s new Lumia 950 and 950 XL smartphones because they now won’t be able to store the 20-megapixel photos and 4K video they shoot.
The outrage is centred around how nobody had seen the announcement coming and it is affecting innocent and typically satisfied customers. Instead of curbing “unlimited” to a reasonable amount and going after the people who are actually storing 75TB, Microsoft appears to be punishing the entire community for the actions of what can only be assumed is a tiny minority of its users who actually took it at its word when it said “unlimited” storage. As with everything “unlimited” in the tech world, Microsoft only used the word for marketing magic, though, and really didn’t want anybody to actually use what they’d paid for.
The plans will be changing in early 2016 and measures are in place to protect user data. Office 365 subscribers who have stored over 1TB in OneDrive will have at least 12 months to scale back so they are under the limit and options will be available to get a refund on paid plans if Office 365 no longer meets a customer’s needs. Current customers of the 100GB and 200GB paid storage plans will not be affected.
The data of free customers who are currently using more than 5GB of storage will also be retained for at least 12 months. Additionally, those users will be able to claim a free one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal and gain 1TB of storage for the duration of the plan.
Microsoft is adamant that the changes are required so it can continue to “make OneDrive the best option for people who want to be productive and do more” but in the eyes of the users they are turning the service in the exact opposite direction. Microsoft has yet to comment on the waves of overwhelmingly negative feedback that have circulated online since the announcement was made.

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