Microsoft to OneDrive users: We're sorry, click the magic link to keep your free storage
Unlimited storage still going away though
Microsoft has apologized to OneDrive users upset by the unexpected removal of their 30GB free storage – and is offering existing users a chance to keep their free storage if they click a special link.
"In November we made a business decision to reduce storage limits for OneDrive. Since then, we've heard clearly from our Windows and OneDrive fans about the frustration and disappointment we have caused. We realize the announcement came across as blaming customers for using our product. For this, we are truly sorry and would like to apologize to the community," says Douglas Pearce, Group Program Manager.
Microsoft had encouraged users to store photos and documents in OneDrive by making it a key feature of Windows and Windows Phone. Many users had 30GB of free storage, based on a 15GB offer plus 15GB additional storage to smartphone users on any platform who used OneDrive for their cloud camera roll. Then in November the company said that "Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued."
Confusing the matter further, the reason given was that Office 365 subscribers were overusing a separate unlimited storage offer, which is why the company is now apologizing for "blaming customers."
Over 72,000 users then made a feature request on the Uservoice feedback site to "give us back our free storage."
Now Microsoft has done just that – but only for those who click a special link by the end of January. That link is (drumroll...) right here.
Despite the offer, Microsoft is not changing its mind about unlimited storage. Office 365 users will get 1TB storage, and users of free OneDrive who do not click the magic link in time will be reduced to 5GB. That said, Microsoft is also offering a free year of Office 365 Personal to customers affected by the changes.
The company has done the right thing; but the incident nevertheless serves as a reminder that free stuff in the cloud can be taken away as well as given. ®