Microsoft has scrapped the 2-gigabyte file size limit on its OneDrive cloud storage service.
While it may take users a while to transfer that much data, they "can now upload files up to 10GB using the desktop apps for Windows and Mac, all of the mobile apps, and the OneDrive Website," announced Jason Moore, group program manager of OneDrive, in a company blog post. Customers of the company's enterprise-flavored OneDrive for Business offering will have to wait a little longer for Microsoft to implement the new limits, he added.
The file limit increase comes in the wake of capacity bumps, price cuts and security enhancements aimed at luring more users to Microsoft's cloud services ecosystem.
In June, Microsoft more than doubled the amount of free cloud storage for OneDrive users, from 7GB to 15GB. Paid users saw their costs plunge by 70 percent. "The new monthly prices will be $1.99 for 100GB (previously $7.49) and $3.99 for 200GB (previously $11.49)," OneDrive Program Manager Omar Shahine said in a statement.
A month prior, the company increased OneDrive for Business storage to 1TB per user, a major upgrade from the previous 25GB limit. The perk was also extended to Office 365 ProPlus subscribers. And in July, still reeling from the National Security Agency spying scandal that rocked the American tech sector, Microsoft revealed that it had enabled Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS) on OneDrive.
PFS enhances data security by creating a new key for each encrypted session, thwarting decryption attempts based on past connections. "OneDrive customers now automatically get forward secrecy when accessing OneDrive through onedrive.live.com, our mobile OneDrive application and our sync clients," said Matt Thomlinson, vice president of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing Security.
The latest OneDrive update also includes a major under-the-hood improvement, said Moore. Microsoft has "increased the number of files that can be downloaded or uploaded at a given time on PCs and Macs," he said.
"In internal tests, this parallel syncing netted an approximately threefold increase in syncing speed," he added. Users should notice the performance increase in the coming weeks as the update rolls out worldwide.
OneDrive also now borrows a handy feature from its competitor, Dropbox. "By simply right-clicking the item or items you'd like to share, you'll see a 'Share a OneDrive link' option [in Windows Explorer's context menu] that will create a sharing link and add it to your Clipboard."
Users can then paste the link directly into an email or instant message. The feature is currently in the process of being enabled on OneDrive for Windows 7 and 8. Microsoft is planning to release Windows 8.1 and Mac versions of the feature at a later date.
Finally, the company is making it easier for users to upload entire folders with the OneDrive Web interface. Microsoft has switched on "the ability for you to drag folders directly into OneDrive.com from browsers where folder dragging/dropping is supported (specifically Google Chrome)," a popular feature request, Moore said.