Hot-take: Microsoft’s OneDrive move is seppuku for the service…and Microsoft’s credibility

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April fools day and Halloween may be past, but Microsoft’s tendency to make moves that cause its customers go “bang their heads on the ground” is cross-seasonal.

In today’s latest theater of fools, Microsoft has just effectively crippled  the OneDrive service and all of its related mobile apps for all of its users, new and existing. On a scale of Windows Phone 7.8 to Xbox One “always online”,  I think this one sets a new bar for foolishness for Redmond. Let me break down the blog post here as I read it.

“We’re making changes to OneDrive storage plans for consumers and are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible.”

Oh good. Microsoft plans to make OneDrive better…right?

“Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.”

Wait…what? How did the OneDrive team know what was being backed up? Were they peeking into user data? Did Microsoft just admit peeking into user files so casually?  Never mind that, this means that they’re going to be capping it to a reasonable 10 TB or something similar I assume. Anything else would not be sensible and Microsoft wouldn’t risk destroying its hard-earned ima-

“We’re no longer planning to offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers. Starting now, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.”

Wait…

“100 GB and 200 GB paid plans are going away as an option for new users and will be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016.”

Are you being serious right now? Is this a thing that is actually happening? i

“Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016.”

Microsoft. This is the point where you say “It’s a social experiment” right? Because you cannot seriously be decreasing storage for OneDrive users after ensuring they are locked into your cloud. That is not cool.

“OneDrive has always been designed to be more than basic file storage and backup. These changes are needed to ensure that we can continue to deliver a collaborative, connected, and intelligent service. They will allow us to continue to innovate and make OneDrive the best option for people who want to be productive and do more.

Additional information can be found at the FAQ, and we will continue to update it throughout the transition.”

Ok…Let’s read that FAQ. Actually, let’s not bother. There’s no point.

Do you know why I’m not going to bother to read OneDrive’s FAQ, because what Microsoft has just shown me is that it means nothing. Microsoft’s words regarding anything no longer mean anything because they can just go back and change it retroactively. They could also just blatantly lie. After all Microsoft doesn’t look at your files on OneDrive or read your emails, except they just admitted to  looking at your files down to knowing who stored what. Windows 10 Privacy issues are now 100% completely justified because Microsoft got a little too antsy about making good on an offer.

On the Windows Phone side, Microsoft advertises its Lumia devices as having 30GB of cloud storage, and now people who have purchased these devices based on the cloud storage would be shocked to learn that 25GB of their promised storage is evaporating into the mist of corporate buffoonery.

Satya Nadella’s Microsoft may be one which prides itself on being mobile first and cloud first, but this misstep has just cost it several perception points that it will find ver, very hard to gain back.

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