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The Internet is angry at Microsoft. After promising unlimited storage with the Office 365 subscription An Introduction to Office 365 -- Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model? An Introduction to Office 365 -- Should You Buy Into the New Office Business Model? Office 365 is a subscription based package that offers access to the latest desktop Office suite, Office Online, cloud storage, and premium mobile apps. Does Office 365 provide enough value to be worth the money? Read More , and 15 GB of storage for free users, the company has reneged on its promise. All because some users apparently abused the system.

In 2016, the following changes will be implemented:

  1. Office 365 users will no longer get unlimited storage. It will be reduced to 1 TB.
  2. Free users will no longer get 15 GB of storage, and will be bumped down to 5 GB. Remember that promotional 15 GB bonus offered to store your smartphone’s photos? That space is gone, too. Basically, forget about making plans on how to use OneDrive’s 15 GB space How To Best Use Your 15GB Of Free OneDrive Storage How To Best Use Your 15GB Of Free OneDrive Storage OneDrive gives you a healthy dose of cloud storage for free. Let's take a look at what you can do with that. Read More  because you will only get 5 GB.
  3. Paid 100 GB and 200 GB plans are gone, too, and now you’ll only be offered a 50 GB plan for $2 per month.

In a nutshell, you will have only three storage plans for OneDrive: 5 GB (free), 50 GB ($2 per month), 1 TB ($10 per month or $100 per year, with Office 365).

Why this Change?

In a blog post, the OneDrive team explained their decision:

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. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.

Microsoft wants you to believe that they are the innocent good guys who were taken advantage of. All that happened was that after advertising unlimited storage, some users started using it as unlimited storage. And they’re the villains? Hey Microsoft, maybe it’s time to go back to school:

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And even if a few users did “abuse” the policy in Microsoft’s parlance, there was still no reason to apply this. More importantly, how does that abuse matter to free users and their 15 GB storage? Why is that being rolled back to 5 GB? It simply doesn’t make sense.

Ed Bott, who has been writing about Microsoft longer than I’ve known how to write, has railed about how big a betrayal this is. Don’t buy Microsoft’s spiel about the few rotten eggs, he puts the blame squarely on the Windows maker.

Over the past few years, the maker of Windows has received a lot of love from press and users, this author included, for their OneDrive plans. Stuff like the 100 GB bonus storage giveaway Free Cloud Storage Upgrades: Grab 100GB of OneDrive & 2GB of Google Drive Free Cloud Storage Upgrades: Grab 100GB of OneDrive & 2GB of Google Drive Cloud storage is getting cheaper by the day, but nothing beats downright free. Some of the top services have come up with a few schemes that will raise your online gigabytes without spending a dime. Read More only made it seem like OneDrive was finally the solution to living out of the cloud. The new move undoes all of that trust.

People are so angry that the top two topics on the OneDrive forum are now beseeching Microsoft to “Give us back our storage” and “Keep Free Storage at 15 GB.”

Can Microsoft Be Sued for This?

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Unfortunately, no. This would fall under a class action lawsuit, and those pesky terms and conditions prevent that from happening.

When you use any Microsoft product like OneDrive, you’re agreeing to these terms and conditions, and they clearly state, “Class action lawsuits, class-wide arbitrations, private attorney-general actions, and any other proceeding where someone acts in a representative capacity aren’t allowed. Nor is combining individual proceedings without the consent of all parties.”

When Do the OneDrive Changes Take Effect?

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The Office 365 changes are rolling out already, but other changes come into effect from 2016 onwards. Microsoft will be sending announcements to OneDrive users who are storing more data than their limit, and will give them 90 days to figure out what to do with their data, after which it will become read-only for 9 months. If you are still over the limit after 9 months, Microsoft will delete that data.

Users who have gained extra storage through promotions and offers, like the aforementioned 100 GB of free OneDrive storage, needn’t worry just yet. Microsoft says, “The storage you have as part of other promotions is not affected by this change.” But well, can you really take this company’s word anymore?

You can read more about it in the OneDrive changes F.A.Qs.

Should I Switch to Google Drive or Dropbox?

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Honestly, it’s difficult to come up with reasons not to switch, at this point. In any case, our Google Drive vs. SkyDrive office productivity showdown SkyDrive vs Google Drive - Which Is Best for Office Productivity? SkyDrive vs Google Drive - Which Is Best for Office Productivity? As the push towards web apps has evolved, we're now met with two powerful cloud solutions -- SkyDrive and Google Drive. These two options offer all the tools needed for file synchronization and office productivity.... Read More crowned Google as the winner. Google already offers 15 GB of free storage, and will throw in another 2 GB for completing its security and privacy settings walkthrough What Does Google Know About You? Find Out and Manage Your Privacy and Security What Does Google Know About You? Find Out and Manage Your Privacy and Security For the first time, search giant Google is offering a way for you to check the information it has about you, how it is gathering that data, and new tools to start reclaiming your privacy. Read More .

Plus, Google Photos actually gives you unlimited storage Online Photo Albums: Where to Host Them for Free Online Photo Albums: Where to Host Them for Free Which online photo storage service is the best? Between free price tags, unlimited storage space, and photo security, which service is best for you? Read More . Yes, it reduces your image resolution to 16 megapixels, but for non-professional photographers, that’s really all right.

And even if you want additional storage, it’s much cheaper and more flexible than OneDrive. A monthly $2 gives you 100 GB compared to OneDrive’s 50 GB; $10 gives you the same 1 TB; and there are other plans taking you up to 30 TB for $300.

With Dropbox too, you get 1 TB for $10 per month or $99 per year, so the pricing is the same as OneDrive. However, there’s no office suite thrown in, unlike OneDrive and Google Drive.

How Do I Move Data and Disable OneDrive?

So, you want out of OneDrive? Here’s everything you need to know.

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  1. First, check your OneDrive storage at onedrive.live.com/options/ManageStorage. This will show you how much you have, which promotional offers are active, and how much of that total space is used.
  2. Similarly, go to www.google.com/settings/storage to check your Google Drive storage. If you have the required free storage to move from OneDrive, proceed to step three. If you don’t have the required storage, you might need to buy it, get more free space How To Get The Most Free Space On Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive & More - The Complete Guide How To Get The Most Free Space On Dropbox, Box, SkyDrive & More - The Complete Guide Cloud storage services offer a minimum amount of free space to everyone who signs up, but you can often get more. You can upgrade your cloud drive with gigabytes and gigabytes of free space in... Read More , or choose another cloud storage service which offers that free space.
  3. Head to mover.io, one of the only apps needed to manage all your cloud storage 2 Chrome Extensions Are All You Need to Manage All Your Cloud Storage 2 Chrome Extensions Are All You Need to Manage All Your Cloud Storage Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other cloud storage services make it difficult for you to search all of your files from any such one box. Let's change that today. Read More . Sign in with your OneDrive and Google Drive (or other destination cloud service), and run through the wizard that will show you how to transfer all your files. It works smoothly and reliably, in my experience.

Finally, if you’re done with OneDrive for good, Mark has a step-by-step guide to remove and replace OneDrive in Windows 10 How to Disable & Replace OneDrive in Windows 10 How to Disable & Replace OneDrive in Windows 10 OneDrive is deeply integrated in Windows 10 and Microsoft might tell you that removing it is not possible. Well, not unless you're willing to dig deep. We show you how to extract OneDrive from Windows... Read More . If you haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, then we also have you covered on how to remove OneDrive from Windows 8.1 How to Disable Microsoft OneDrive in Windows 8.1 How to Disable Microsoft OneDrive in Windows 8.1 You should be free to choose where your data is being stored. While having an automatic cloud syncing solution is a great idea, maybe you don't like OneDrive. Here's how to disable it. Read More , which will also work on Windows 8. Previous version of Windows don’t have a deep OneDrive integration.

Can You Trust Microsoft After This?

Cloud storage is all about trust, in my opinion. You don’t have physical access to the drive, so you need to be able to trust the company who is storing all your data.

In one giant backward step, Microsoft has eroded my belief in them and their online services. What about you? Can you still trust Microsoft with your data after this?

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