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Microsoft puffs up OneDrive, now with 1TB per head for biz users

Let's see Box and Dropbox match that ... oh, they have?

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Microsoft has upped its ante in the ongoing cloud wars, increasing storage allotments for business customers and offering to help companies migrate from their existing storage solutions to OneDrive.

OneDrive for Business subscribers will soon be granted 1TB of storage per user, up from the more modest 25GB per user that Microsoft has been offering since it last boosted business users' storage in August, back when the service was still known as SkyDrive Pro.

The upgrade puts Redmond's business cloud storage allotments in line the current practice of competitors like Box, which offers business customers 1,000GB per user, and Dropbox, which claims to offer unlimited storage.

Microsoft claims OneDrive is superior to those offerings, however, owing to its integration with Office 365. Users can view and collaborate on Office documents via Office Online (née Office Web Apps), and Redmond says the new social features it's building into Office will make documents easier to find and share.

"As important as robust file sync/share is, we believe it’s only useful if it’s part of a holistic and comprehensive solution for team-based productivity and collaboration," the Office team's John Case said in a blog post announcing the upgrade.

And if that's not convincing enough, Microsoft is also competing on price. It launched OneDrive for Business as a standalone offering earlier this month, priced aggressively at just $5 per user, per month, then promptly cut that rate in half for a promotional period. That same $2.50-per-head rate will continue through September, even with the increased storage allotment.

By comparison, Box and Dropbox each charge businesses $15 per user, per month for their respective offerings, although Dropbox offers discounts for customers who prefer to pay annually in advance.

In addition to standalone OneDrive for Business customers, Office 365 ProPlus subscribers – whose plan costs $12 per user, per month and includes access to subscription versions of the desktop Office applications – will also be granted 1TB of OneDrive storage per seat.

Microsoft says it's willing to help customers migrate their data from other solutions, but when El Reg asked for details, a spokesperson said customers would need to contact their Microsoft partners or account managers for more information.

Neither was there any word on whether Microsoft plans to up OneDrive's storage allotments for consumer accounts. Currently, users can only store up to 7GB of data on OneDrive free of charge, but they can purchase more storage on an annual basis, either directly or by subscribing to Office 365.

The OneDrive homepage had not be updated to reflect the new 1TB storage allotment for business customers as of Monday, but Microsoft reps tell us that all customers are eligible to receive the increased storage now. The actual rollout of the new capacity won't begin until July 1, but companies can contact Microsoft to see about fast tracking their accounts. ®

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