Microsoft will no longer try to "one up" competitors in cloud storage, opting instead to eliminate the ceiling for consumer and business subscribers of its Office 365 suites, a move that will put it on par with some vendors and ahead of others.
All Office 365 editions will include unlimited capacity in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business as Microsoft now begins a gradual rollout of this enhancement that will continue into next year. OneDrive and OneDrive for Business are designed as file repositories for individual users.
Back in June, Google introduced a version of its Apps suite called Drive for Work that for US$10 per user/month includes unlimited storage, along with the suite's existing components, like cloud email, calendar, video conferencing and office productivity software.
Meanwhile, Dropbox, which offers only storage, has an enterprise version called Dropbox for Business, which costs $15 per user/month for a minimum of five users and also provides unlimited storage.
Box, which is broadening its scope beyond business cloud storage into workflow and content management, also offers unlimited storage as part of its Business plan, which costs $15 per user/month, and of its Enterprise plan, whose price customers have to negotiate with the vendor.
Microsoft had bumped up OneDrive and OneDrive for Business storage a few times before, most recently bringing it up to 1 terabyte for Office 365 subscribers.
However, unlimited storage in OneDrive and OneDrive for Business does not mean that all storage limits have been eliminated in Office 365. For example, Microsoft currently caps individual inbox capacity at 50 gigabytes in Office 365 editions that include Exchange Online. There are also storage limits for SharePoint Online team sites.
In Google Apps' Drive for Work, the unlimited storage covers Drive itself, Gmail, and Google+ Photos.
The maximum size of individual files is another aspect that's important to consider when evaluating vendors' cloud storage services. Last month, Microsoft said that OneDrive's maximum file size would increase from 2 gigabytes to 10 gigabytes, although at the time it didn't extend the announcement to OneDrive for Business.
Dropbox has a 10GB limit for files uploaded from its website, and no limit on files uploaded via its desktop and mobile apps.
Google Drive lets users upload files up to 5TB in size, as long as they're not converted to Google Docs, Slides and Sheets. There is a 50MB file size limit on presentations and documents uploaded to Drive and converted to Docs and Slides, and a 100MB limit on spreadsheets converted to Sheets.
Meanwhile, Box starts with a 250MB file size limit on its free plan, and tops out at 5GB on its Business and Enterprise editions.
Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.
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