As the cycle of a year become full circle, I normally do a prediction about the next year to come. A while back I wrote my predictions for "SharePoint, Office 365 and related technologies during 2014". In these predictions I had a section about SkyDrive Pro (now called OneDrive for Business):
Microsoft is competing with a lot of other vendors such as Dropbox and Google Drive when it comes to consumer data storage in the cloud. But we are also seeing more competitors going after the enterprise customers which means Microsoft will have to accelerate their business for SkyDrive Pro, which targets the enterprise customers for storing data. (See Microsoft’s site for a comparison between SkyDrive (consumer) and SkyDrive Pro (enterprise), or watch this youtube video).
Since Microsoft is pushing all-in on the cloud and their Office 365 services, I’m pretty confident that we’ll see some new features to the SkyDrive Pro offerings (and hopefully the normal SkyDrive too actually) during the year that comes.
While I’m not discussing any feature-specific predictions in my post, I was pretty confident that there would be some noticable improvements in the OneDrive space. Related to this, Microsoft announced yesterday in the Microsoft Office Blog that there are some improvements happening in the OneDrive landscape.
First of all – what is OneDrive for Business?
To make it easy and just quote Microsoft, it is:
One place for all your work files – Store, sync, share and easily collaborate on files securely for businesses of any size.
To make it even easier, here’s a blog post by Julia White from the OneDrive blog in more detail.
With the recent improvements both in near time and a few weeks back, here’s the most interesting reasons to check it out.
Increased storage from 25GB to 1TB
Microsoft announced an increase in the storage per user for OneDrive for Business:
We will be increasing OneDrive for Business storage from 25GB to 1TB per user
Once this happens, there’s going to be a lot more interest for OneDrive. It’ll be interesting to see how the pricing will be impacted.
Office 365 ProPlus storage increase
Aligned with the aforementioned storage increase, all ProPlus subscribers will also get the 1TB storage included in their subscription.
All Office 365 ProPlus customers will get 1TB of OneDrive for Business storage per user as part of their Office 365 ProPlus subscription
OneDrive for Business now offers a standalone edition
If you don’t want to purchase an Office 365 subscription, or if you simply want a separate OneDrive for Business subscription, you can now get it as a standalone service. What’s even better is that there’s currently a promotional pricing setup from April 1st through September 2014.
The new OneDrive for Business standalone plan is available via two promotional deals over the next six months, starting today, April 1st, through September 2014. * Here are the pricing details for the standalone plan:
OneDrive for Business comes with most Office 365 and SharePoint Online plans at no additional cost. Customers who are already using Office 365 and OneDrive for Business today do not need to do anything – just keep loving it.
Check it all out in the OneDrive blog.
Let’s be transparent. I’m using Dropbox. I’m using Dropbox because it is awesome, it’s reliable and it always work and has never ever failed me once. However in recent weeks Microsoft has done such an impressive job with all of their services, subscriptions and products that I’m gaining a lot of confidence in their OneDrive for Business service. Especially since it now comes as a standalone edition!
Once the 1TB gig is a done deal and the pricing doesn’t impact me too much compared to my Dropbox plans, I may be moving all my content to OneDrive for Business permanently. After all, it is a big move if you have a lot of data that you are relying on to be synced to multiple environments (and persons/shares). It all just needs to work.
In past experiences, the SkyDrive (now OneDrive) apps for Windows were not the best software on the planet, if you get my drift. Now they seem to have improved the software a lot. Enough for me to make a serious consideration about my move to OneDrive for Business.
As for comparing OneDrive for Business with other services, compare it here.