Microsoft launches OneDrive globally, with some freebies

Microsoft’s relabeled cloud storage service OneDrive is now available globally, and to sweeten the pot for potential users, the company is adding another 5 GB of free storage to customers who refer buddies. (All OneDrive users get 7 GB free.) But wait, there’s more! If you use the photo backup feature, you get an additional 3 GB. And if you sign up for Office 365 — ranging in price from $5 to $15 per user per month, you get another 100 GB.

Microsoft (s MSFT) is also giving away another 100 GB of free storage to 100,000 people via an online contest. As we have come to realize, hooking users with free stuff then trying to convert them to paid customers is a tricky business — but at least Microsoft, like Google, at least has other stuff to sell, storage-file-share-and-sync is just a part of its overall story.

OneDrive, which has tight ties to the usual panoply of Microsoft products — Office, SharePoint et al. — also supports those who “happen to carry an iPhone (s aapl) or Android(s goog) phone, or use an iPad, Android tablet, Windows device, or a Mac,” according to a blog post by Chris Jones, Microsoft’s corporate VP of Windows services. In this release, for example, there’s new automatic camera backup for Android phones.

Competitors in this hotly contested file-share-and-sync market include Dropbox, Apple’s(s aapl) iCloud, Google(s goog) Drive and a bunch of other cloud storage and file sync offerings too numerous to mention.

Here’s the pricing for OneDrive:

onedrive pricing