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Microsoft's OneDrive changes: Follow the money

Gregg Keizer | Nov. 10, 2015
For every 1 percent of the free user pool Microsoft converts to paid, it could realize US$107 million additional annual revenue.

By the tone of the comments at the end of Microsoft's announcement blog post, some will flee. They may not be in the majority -- millions of free users may well upgrade to a paid plan -- but the loyalists that many called themselves could be influential with scores of others.

And they're not happy.

"How unprofessional of Microsoft to use OneDrive abusers be the excuse for cutting back the service for all," vented Sheeds in one of those comments. "Either target and limit the abusers -- or own up and be transparent about the real reason (presumably $$$) that EVERYONE's service has been cut back."

"People's needs in storage constantly rise. You could've waited a year or two and the users would come to you themselves and buy storage for storing photos from those new [Windows smartphone] flagships with crazy megapixels and 8K video or whatever," said Slawootsky. "What a letdown. This is not the New Microsoft but the old one, at its worst."

"I think the calculation is simple: lose the 'parasitic' free users that cost money while converting some to [Office] 365 customers where they pay for services they would not require (what average user will require 1TB online storage?)," wrote Putsw.

But another commenter, Rich Warren, put it best by tying the OneDrive blowback to some Nadella mantras. "This is the Microsoft that Satya Nadella is carefully crafting? Nothing says 'Mobile-first, cloud first' like an online cloud storage solution that is reducing storage limits," Warren said. "Satya wants people to 'love' Windows, not tolerate it. Nothing makes me want to love a Microsoft service more than knowing I paid for something that Microsoft is outright refusing to deliver. I have canceled my Office 365 subscription."

Onedrive conversion 2 
The golden goose is Office 365: Microsoft could realize $312 million in additional revenue for each 1% of the OneDrive free-user pool it converts to Office 365 Personal and its 1TB storage allowance. Click on image to enlarge. Data: EU, Microsoft, Computerworld


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