Microsoft Floats More SkyDrive Pro Cloud Storage

As cloud rivals trot out new low-price plans, Microsoft offers SkyDrive Pro users more than triple the amount of default storage for their files.

Office 365 users have a bigger cloud storage pool to wade in after Microsoft more than tripled the default allocation. Now, instead of 7GB of storage, SkyDrive Pro accounts are entitled to 25GB worth of space to store their documents and files.

Mark Kashman and Tejas Mehta, both Microsoft SharePoint marketing senior product managers, broke down the impact of the change on businesses that have transitioned to Office 365. "With Office 365, you get 25 GB of SkyDrive Pro storage + 25 GB of email storage + 5 GB for each site mailbox you create + your total available tenant storage, which for every Office 365 business customer starts at 10 GB + (500 MB x # of user(s))," they wrote in a blog post.

The increase does not apply to the SkyDrive service offered to Office 365 Home Premium subscribers. A supplied FAQ noted that the "Pro" in SkyDrive Pro "is based on SharePoint, enterprise-grade content management. Thus, this article does not apply to Office 365 Home Premium offering, which combines the latest Office applications with 20GB of SkyDrive storage."

The upgrade benefits firms that routinely find themselves shuffling around big files. "If you and your company have growing storage needs across your various work streams and content types, we think you'll find Office 365 offers ample headroom on day one, at no additional cost," they said.

In addition, Microsoft has enabled new per-user storage options on SharePoint Online administration accounts.

Administrators can now bump each user's SkyDrive Pro storage space—or that of up to 25 at once—beyond the default 25GB to 50GB or 100GB (the current upper limit). "The storage you allocate will come from your tenant's overall pool of storage and you have clear visibility of how much total available tenant storage your company has to allocate to your users' SkyDrive Pro," boasted Kashman and Mehta. Additional storage costs $0.20 per GB per month.

Other tweaks include an increase to SharePoint Online's upload limit to 2GB per file and on-by-default versioning for new SkyDrive Pro libraries (up to the last 10 versions). The recycle bin retention period has been upped to 90 days from the previous 30-day deletion threshold.

Finally, the company is making it easier for users to keep track of their group edits and other collaborative tasks by consolidating shared files into a single view.

A new Shared with Me view maintains a sortable list of a user's shared documents, even if they reside in another user's account. Shared files "have the same permissions in SkyDrive Pro that you were originally given by the person who shared the documents with you," they explain.

The move comes after Box recently raised the stakes for cloud storage providers.

On Aug. 21, Box announced a new plan aimed at small businesses. It offers 100GB of storage for $5 per month per user. "More than ever before, the economy today is driven by information and collaboration. Whether you're a global corporation, a small business or a freelancer, the key to competing is being able to securely share, manage and access your content anywhere, on any device," said Box co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie in a statement.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...