This is the real storage wars. Today Microsoft announced that it has increased the storage capacity of its SkyDrive Pro cloud document storage and syncing service to 25 gigabytes, from the formerly proffered 7 gigabytes. Non-Pro SkyDrive users are stuck with the 7 gigabyte tally for now.
SkyDrive Pro is part of the Office 365 suite of cloud productivity tools that Microsoft sells to business and universities.
The news comes directly on the heels of Box’s doubling of its free storage option – to 10 gigabytes – and its creation of a new paid plan for its service that offers 100 gigabytes of storage per user for $5 per seat per month. Microsoft, Box, Dropbox, and Google are each striving to offer the most, at the lowest price.
Consumers and businesses are reaping the rewards of that competition. Storage costs are decreasing, allowing for increased scrapping amongst the contenders.
Microsoft also today increased the file upload limit to 2 gigabytes per file, enabled versioning to automatically save the last 10 versions of documents stored in SkyDrive Pro libraries, and increased “default recycle bin retention” to a full 90 days. So, more storage, and a better user experience is Microsoft’s response to Box’s encroachment on its enterprise turf.
Box is not a company that just wants to store your digital bulk in the cloud. It has larger goals than that, I think. Once it stores all your files, why not help you edit them, right in the browser? Right. And that dings Office revenue, an essential profit cannon for Microsoft.
So, who controls the data in a way controls its editing, and that revenue stream. Microsoft would like to do both, thank you. Box does one now and will do the other later. War, gents and ladies.
Top Image Credit: Karin Dalziel