Cloud wars: Microsoft bumps OneDrive storage to 1 TB with Office products

Microsoft boosted the amount of free OneDrive storage for Office subscribers by a factor of 50 on Monday. The company announced that instead of 20 GB of cloud storage, users would now have 1 terabyte — which is 1,000 GB — of space to store documents, images and other data files. The new storage allotment is for consumers who buy Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, or Office 365 University.

So what can you do with that much space? To put it in perspective, Microsoft(s msft) said:

  • 1 TB is equivalent to approximately 50,000 trees made into paper and printed
  • 1 TB can store about 1,000 copies of the full edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica
  • 1 TB can hold around 2,000 hours of audio recorded at CD quality
  • 1 TB can remember roughly 8,000 times more data than the average human

Clearly, Microsoft is going after consumers who might be using alternative productivity software and online storage providers. The biggest target is likely Google(s goog) which offers 15 GB of free storage to share between Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos; Google Apps users get 30 GB. Both are far cries from a terabyte however; that would cost $9.99 at today’s current prices, for example.

It’s a smart play by Microsoft to help fend off any consumers, even small business and schools, from moving away from Office. And it’s not likely that most people will even come close to using a full terabyte of storage, so the cost to Microsoft won’t be prohibitive.

How long before Google, and possibly others, bump up their storage limits? I don’t think it will take long. Let’s not forget that Google’s I/O event is later this week; while this is mainly a developer event, Google execs will be on stage for all the world to see. That’s the perfect time to make a pricing adjustment, particularly since Microsoft also boosted free storage for non-Office users: Everyone using OneDrive gets 15 GB for free, which is slightly more than double the prior offer of 7 GB. Starting next month, Microsoft will also lower additional storage costs to $1.99 for 100 GB — down from $7.49 — and $3.99 for 200 GB which used to cost $11.49.

Personal Storage
Cloud Provider Free Pricing Tiers
Apple iCloud Drive 5GB 20GB = $0.99/month
200GB = $3.99/month
Tiers available up to 1TB
Amazon Cloud Drive 5GB 20GB = $10/year
50GB = $25/year
100GB = $50/year
200GB = $100/year
500GB = $200/year
1000GB = $500/year
Box Personal 10GB
(up to 250mb file size)
100GB = $10/month with 5GB file upload size ($120/year)
Dropbox 2GB+
(Earn more space by referring friends, completing task)
100GB = $9.99/month or $99/year
200GB = $19.99/month or $199/year
500GB = $49.99/month or $499/year
Google Drive 15GB
(includes Google Drive, Gmail, Google+ photos)
100GB = $1.99/month
1TB = $9.99/month
Microsoft OneDrive 15GB 100GB = $1.99/month
200GB = $3.99/month