Microsoft announce office 365 unlimited storage
I’m not a big fan of Microsoft but in fairness to the company they are working hard on making their cloud products competitive. The latest is their announcement of free office 365 unlimited storage. Course it isn’t free. It costs. £5.99 a month for a single user or £7.99 a month for a household of up to 5 persons. This sounds like a very good deal to me considering a single copy of Microsoft Office can cost over a hundred quid (or it was when I last bought one).
Apart from being an aggressive move in a market that they absolutely have to succeed at, and which indications suggest they are not doing badly, the great thing for me is what this is likely to do for the competition. A Google account is free for personal users and it gives you most of the functionality of Microsoft Office, although I accept that the equivalent Google features may not be as mature and functional.
With Google though you only get 15GB free storage. I worked out earlier this year that the free Google account with a Terabyte of storage is around £70 a year. Whilst a Terabyte isn’t unlimited it’s not far off at the moment, to all intents and purposes.
Maybe £70 is the base market price for this kind of cloud service. Most people won’t need a Terabyte, or an unlimited amount of storage, at the moment. I use around 400MB on my NAS box and that is mostly photos. If I had unlimited storage I might start to push the boundaries on what I choose to store.
I’ve no idea what that is at the moment. It might, for example, mean I get a CCTV app that keeps all the video footage 1 ever recorded by the camera/s. A bit of a waste but why not. It’s free. Add to that the fact that unlimited usage broadband packages have become the norm and hey presto, all barriers removed.
In one sense Microsoft might be making a rod for their own backs here but I think it is great. It can only be of benefit to us all. Where does this all go? What happens when everyone’s product looks the same and costs the same? I suspect that we will start to see differentiated cloud services, speed of access, mining tools maybe. But that is all in the future. For the moment it’s well done Microsoft. Competition is good.
They still have a lot of work to do on their mobile strategy though…
1 use of the word footage seems somewhat anachronistic