Microsoft OneDrive Goes Unlimited, Improved Encryption for Business Users

Microsoft OneDrive for iPhone

Microsoft announced on Monday October 27, 2014, that its cloud file service, OneDrive, has been updated to allow unlimited storage to subscribers of Microsoft Office 365. Microsoft OneDrive was just updated earlier this summer to provide Office 365 subscribers with 1TB of cloud storage. This means that for as low as $6.99 per month, a user can have a full version of Microsoft Office installed on a desktop computer, use Microsoft Office on the iPad, use Microsoft Office Online, and have unlimited cloud storage of Microsoft OneDrive.

Microsoft OneDrive for iPhone

The storage update is being rolled out in phases beginning with Office 365 Home, Personal and University customers. Microsoft promises that the roll-out will continue over the next few months, with OneDrive for Business customers seeing unlimited storage in 2015.

Additionally, Microsoft announced enhanced Mobile Device Management (MDM) for Office 365. IT administrators will be able to set more advanced mobile device policies for iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices running Office 365 beginning the first quarter of 2015. This will be done directly from the Office 365 administration portal, and will allow an Office 365 administrator to perform selective wipes of devices to remove only Office 365 corporate data (and leaving personal data intact), to set requirements of security (like pin access), and disable services if a Jailbreak or root is detected.

Microsoft also indicated that SharePoint and OneDrive for Business have been enhanced to provide advanced encryption of data at rest (while files are stored on Microsoft’s servers). Per-file encryption has been added, which means that every file stored on OneDrive for Business now has its own unique key, and any update to the file creates a new unique key. This means that even if an individual is somehow able to intercept the encryption key, it will only work for one file, and is only valid until that file is modified. Also if brute force is used to break the encryption of the protected file, each and every file has to have its encryption key broken separately.

These updates to OneDrive for Business and Office 365 further strengthen Microsoft’s offering in the cloud and office productivity areas. Microsoft is making it easier everyday to leave competing products from Google and DropBox behind.

Microsoft Giving 1 TB of OneDrive Storage to Entice Office 365 Subscriptions

One Drive

Microsoft announced a massive increase to OneDrive storage today for both paid and free accounts. Under the new plan, 15 GB of storage is available for free to all users of OneDrive (this is up from the 7 GB previously offered), and if you are a subscriber to Office 365, that number goes up to 1 TB. If you are not an Office 365 subscriber, you also have the option of purchasing 100 GB of storage for $1.99 per month, or 200 GB for $3.99 per month.

This news comes less than a month after Apple announced their upcoming iCloud Drive service that offered substantially lower rates than those currently being offered by competitors. For comparison sake, Apple announced that iCloud Drive would offer 5 GB of free storage, with 20GB to be $0.99 per month, 200 GB to be $3.99 per month, and 1 TB to be determined.

The biggest loser in these price decreases is Dropbox. Currently Dropbox offers 2 GB of storage for free, with 100 GB for $9.99 per month, and 200 GB for $19.99 per month. It will be interesting to see how long before Dropbox has to drop their prices to be competitive. Google Drive also offers 15GB of free storage and 100 GB for $1.99 per month and 1 TB for $9.99 per month.

If you were looking for a good reason to purchase Office 365, and the releases of Microsoft Office for the iPad were not enough for you, OneDrive storage definitely makes the subscription the most economical way I have found to obtain cloud storage, with the added bonus of Microsoft Office on your iPad and Desktop. It is also important to remember that you can still purchase a one year subscription to Office 365 from Amazon at $72.00.