back to article Microsoft to OneDrive users: We're sorry, click the magic link to keep your free storage

Microsoft has apologized to OneDrive users upset by the unexpected removal of their 30GB free storage – and is offering existing users a chance to keep their free storage if they click a special link. "In November we made a business decision to reduce storage limits for OneDrive. Since then, we've heard clearly from our …

  1. Nate Amsden

    wonder how they will choose

    what data to delete for users above the limit ? Just randomly perhaps.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: wonder how they will choose

      Adapting the Outlook "Inbox Repair Tool" to deal with files other than PST's would be one idea.

      1. el_oscuro

        Re: wonder how they will choose

        It could be like the old DOS SCANDISK utility. Anyone remember that?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: wonder how they will choose

          Remember it? I still use it!!!!

    2. Bob Dole (tm)

      Re: wonder how they will choose

      Knowing microsoft, they would run an algorithm that deleted every 2 out of 3 bytes thereby hosing the entire thing.

  2. Novex

    Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

    ...not.

    1. Phil Kingston

      Re: Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

      It is if you pay for a certain level of service.

      If you expect something for nothing don't be surprised if it goes away. Especially if some users abuse it.

      MS handling of the situation has been bad though.

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

        MS handling of the situation has been bad though.

        Maybe, maybe not. They wouldn't be the first to discontinue a free storage service. "Ubuntu One" went away last year.

        1. Chris King Silver badge

          Re: Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

          The free services have been dropping like flies lately, and some of the pay-for services have closed down. Wuala shut down last month, Golden Frog's Dump Truck shuts down on Saturday. Even the big boys like Dropbox are shuttering ancillary services, and Microsoft are resorting to stupid tactics to keep their costs under control.

          At the end of the day, you're putting your data on someone else's computers and storage, and sometimes those computers/storage can cease to be available for any number of reasons. If you're relying on a free service, someone else pays the piper and you don't get to choose the tunes.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

          Meanwhile over at the Chocolate Factory…

          I was helping set up a tablet for a friend's mum at the weekend and Google was offering a "free" 100 GB for Google Drive. Hard to see people sticking with even Microsoft's paid service with such competition.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

            "I was helping set up a tablet for a friend's mum at the weekend and Google was offering a "free" 100 GB for Google Drive. Hard to see people sticking with even Microsoft's paid service with such competition."

            It's only free for a time limited period. Therefore not really free. If you use it, chances are you will be stuck with paying for it rather than incur the hassle of moving elsewhere when your free time runs out...

      2. Jon Blund

        Re: Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

        How can you abuse storage? If you're given 30 G and you fill it up, is that abuse?

        1. Rimpel

          Re: Cloud - Isn't it such a lovely, comfy place to put stuff...

          The article says "the reason given was that Office 365 subscribers were overusing a separate unlimited storage offer". But your point still stands, if they are offering unlimited storage how can you abuse it?

  3. Roq D. Kasba

    Oh Microsoft, why do you do this to yourself?

    You are a good company, you produce some decent software, but you make yourself hard to like with this kind of give/take away thing. It shows a lack of proper long term strategy, and that makes people twitchy.

    Windows 10 free upgrade for a year, but then what? Signpost your intentions clearly, then stick to your statements - people will like you a whole lot more.

    1. ZSn

      Re: Oh Microsoft, why do you do this to yourself?

      On top of this, I only noticed this because of this article. No E-mail, no warning, nothing. They seem to have publicised the removal of the storage, but not the return of it. Perhaps not to look like a climbdown, however this way they look like skinflints for taking away the service, return it quietly so that they *still* look like skinflints. Not a clever way of doing PR really.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh Microsoft,@ Roq D. Kasba

      You are a good company, you produce some decent software

      Actually, "no" and "no" respectively. But the rest of your post was spot on.

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: Oh Microsoft,@ Roq D. Kasba

        Ledswinger, I totally get why you'd say that. Companies themselves are neither good nor bad, and the employees and directors do some subjectively good stuff and some bad stuff, sometimes even for the right reasons.

        And I agree that their software isn't all good, but a lot of it is good enough that lots of people want to use it. Excel is, for a very narrow set of cases, genuinely better than OOo, some things I do, it does well. SQL Server is actually a great database engine, Visual Studio is a compelling IDE. Some of the research projects in Cambridge are actually very impressive. Windows 10 seems to be working well enough. You get the idea.

        We probably agree on a bunch of that stuff too, TBH. If nothing else, their willingness to gouge has provided a great antagonist for the FOSS software movement, and that has to be a good thing ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh Microsoft,@ Roq D. Kasba

          I suspect Roq D Kasba is a US based Microsoft apologist.

          Companies are good and bad, as evidenced by their actions, culture and habitual behaviour.

          I would say Microsoft's actions to towards quite a large number of companies over the last 35 years would suggest they habitually fall into the category of "the unacceptable face of capitalism" behaviour.

          Seattle Computer Products (QDOS), Lotus123 (DOS ain't done till Lotus won't run), Sybase (SQLServer), Novell (Netware Lite), Google ("Scroogled" campaign) would probably agree with me.

          1. Toastan Buttar

            Re: Oh Microsoft,@ Roq D. Kasba

            "I suspect Roq D Kasba is a US based Microsoft apologist."

            205 posts would make me suspect that you are a cockwomble, AC. Grow some yarbles and post under your Forum Name so that we can check out YOUR posting history. If you have any yarbles, you eunuch jelly thou!

          2. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: I suspect Roq D Kasba is a US based Microsoft apologist.

            But we can read his posting history and judge for ourselves. There's no reason for your comment to be AC unless you've got something to hide, like being a US based Google/Apple/FOSS apologist?

        2. JohnnyGStrings

          Re: Oh Microsoft,@ Roq D. Kasba

          If you need to do power user stuff in a spreadsheet, Excel is usable, OO falls down under the strain too easily. It is slow to load complex workbooks, it's very slow at calculating lots (thousands) of lookups, OO crashes once you start doing more complex lookup-focussed models... we tried it, and had to stick with Excel. OO is only good for the basic spreadsheet use case (at this time, though as that's 99% of users, hard to see that they'll invest lots of time/effort getting it to compare to Excel for that tiny proportion of userbase).

  4. Richard Armstrong

    Gracias

    Gracias El Reg - I'd have missed this otherwise. I clearly didn't get the email.

    1. TheProf

      Re: Gracias

      Ditto and Ditto.

    2. ZSn

      Re: Gracias

      There wasn't one - at least the few people (yes all of the outlook.com users seem to have been signed up by me) I know didn't get any e-mail about this.

      1. Boothy

        Re: Gracias

        Same here, no email, and I have the 15GB free,15GB Camera roll bonus, and from who knows where, a 10GB Loyalty bonus.

        1. TonkaToys

          Re: Gracias

          Another "Thank-you!" to El Reg.

  5. 2+2=5 Silver badge
    Flame

    Disingenuous little f*ckers

    I followed the link and got a screen saying: "Let this app access your info? OneDrivePreview needs your permission to: sign in automatically; view your profile info and contact list, access your email addresses; add or remove bonus storage." This is followed by Yes | No buttons.

    Clicked 'No' and I got an "Ooops, something went wrong screen".

    So MS are lying: you can only get the storage back by bending giving over your private information.

    1. MondoMan
      Windows

      Re: Disingenuous little f*ckers

      @2+2

      Just trying the OneDrive keep-the-bonus site now, it also says lower down after asking for all the access that "You can change these application permissions at any time in your account settings."

      Not great, but not a deal-breaker either, IMHO.

      1. Will 28

        Re: Disingenuous little f*ckers

        MondoMan, it does indeed say that. As a result I decided to go ahead with keeping the storage, then I would go and disable the app.

        Unfortunately it was lying. I have searched for about 5 minutes now. I can find no option to change this. You'd think it would be in the "Options" section, but I assume that somewhere via some other menu I have to find the "Account Settings" screen.

        They have either lied, or made it very difficult to find.

        EDIT: Found it, it's not in the one drive options, you need to click your profile picture, go to edit profile, then click your picture again and there's an option for "Account Settings".

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Disingenuous little f*ckers

          EDIT: Found it, it's not in the one drive options, you need to click your profile picture, go to edit profile, then click your picture again and there's an option for "Account Settings".

          I'm afraid I got only that far, i.e. "Account settings". I can't see WHERE, from the account settings page, you can change permissions which I HAD TO give them to keep the free storage. I have searched all tabs (Account, Your info, Service... Security & Privacy.. you'd think it's the in at least 4 tabs out of 7, eh? No luck! :(

          So, I gave something away for "free" storage, and I don't know how to get it back.

          Edit too. Yes, it is doable. From the "Account settings" menu (tabs), I went to the LAST tab, i.e. "Security & privacy", then BOTTOM of the page:

          If you want to manage your "Ad preferences" - out of luck, lol:

          http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=513297

          This page can’t be displayed

          but if you go to second tab (from the left), i.e. Apps & Services (manage permissions) you are shown the "OneDrive" with the key link - Edit. You click on it and - BINGO! - several clicks away is what you gave away, and at the bottom is the button:

          Remove these permissions.

          But hey, like the poster before said, if you want to keep your "free" storage, one of the "permission" you remove, is to "Add or remove bonus storage". So, I bet, you remove the permissions - and you "free" is takenth away. Oh, fuck them, I don't use this shit much anyway...

          1. Anonymous Coward
    2. gerritv

      Re: Disingenuous little f*ckers

      You need to up your reading comprehension. It clearly states that the information OneDrive app wants permission to access is on your MSFT account, not your full set of email addresses, etc. They already have this info!!!!

    3. RubberJohnny

      Re: Disingenuous little f*ckers

      It's not a problem you don't have to bend over.

      Just agree to give them the permission to view contact list and email addresses, but just don't keep any contact list or email addresses anywhere they can get at them. So, remove any Outlook, and don't use an MS email service.

    4. 's water music Silver badge

      Re: Disingenuous little f*ckers

      So MS are lying: you can only get the storage back by bending giving over your private information.

      Imagine what would go wrong if MS got their hands on your Windows Live account details.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disingenuous little f*ckers

      "view your profile info and contact list, access your email addresses"

      You mean all the stuff it already has access to?

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: You mean all the stuff it already has access to?

        Why is it asking for permission to access stuff it already has access to? Just to put people off?

  6. Efros

    Upside

    I had a major purge of my OneDrive content and managed to get it below the new 'limit' without actually having to delete anything I really needed or wanted to keep.

    Downside: it took me a couple of hours to trawl through all the stuff and make the purge. Can I bill them?

    1. joed

      Re: Upside

      Just an idea to test. Delete some stuff and after number of days delete other files and immediately restore files deleted in 1st purge. Keep rocking it back and forth - effectively multiplying storage space and causing "financial pain" on MS (at a slight inconvenience to oneself). Obviously one has to check for duration of time the files are kept in the "Recycle Bin" (and if it counted towards storage quota).

      1. Phil Kingston

        Re: Upside

        Or, I dunno, go out and talk to a girl

        1. Efros

          Re: Upside

          @Phil Kingston

          "Or, I dunno, go out and talk to a girl"

          I think my wife would be a bit upset about that.

          1. kain preacher Silver badge

            Re: Upside

            Then go out and talk to boy then :)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Upside

          What a pleasant comment from young Phil - to be congratulated.

    2. Turtle

      @Efros Re: Upside

      "...it took me a couple of hours to trawl through all the stuff and make the purge. Can I bill them?"

      Yes! Yes you can!

      Just send them a bill. You'll be amazed at the response!

  7. King Jack

    Worry not..

    M$ will reverse this again at a later date, it's what they do. People have short memories.

  8. Chris King Silver badge

    Bah

    Clawing back freebies and making people jump through hoops to keep them ? Not cool, Microsoft...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bah

      Microsoft is a scummy company and has never been cool.

      Also, it isn't free. YOU are the product: targeted advertising and data mining. Microsoft also has very intimate relations with the NSA. This is an irrefutable, documented fact.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bah

        Also, it isn't free. YOU are the product: targeted advertising and data mining. Google also has very intimate relations with the NSA. This is an irrefutable, documented fact.

        Also, it isn't free. YOU are the product: targeted advertising and data mining. Apple also has very intimate relations with the NSA. This is an irrefutable, documented fact.

        Also, it isn't free. YOU are the product: targeted advertising and data mining. Oracle also has very intimate relations with the NSA. This is an irrefutable, documented fact.

        Also, it isn't free. YOU are the product: targeted advertising and data mining. Unilever also has very intimate relations with the NSA. This is an irrefutable, documented fact.

        What is your point?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Bah

          "This is an irrefutable, documented fact."

          Citation or it's neither.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Never clear

    I support my olds IT (like many here) and while windows 7 made my 80 something get into the use of OneDrive, there is nothing at any point (maybe in the EULA, page 765) that says its a free or otherwise service.

    It is so integrated with Windows, it is practically impossible to not use it.

    Apple is not much better, but if i never sign into iCloud when i start up.

    I still have a local user password setup there... not a system that requires online verification to log into a laptop.

    1. Toastan Buttar

      @jeremy 3: Re: Never clear

      "It is so integrated with Windows, it is practically impossible to not use it."

      Bullshit. Just don't use it and you......erm.......not use it.

      I have used Windows 7 for yeeears and Windows 10 for a couple of months, and there is nothing which enforces use of OneDrive. Please explain your nebulous assertion.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: it is practically impossible to not use it.

        Not true of course, but the default when setting up a new windows machine is to create a cloudy account and use that. Caused loads of grief at my old place when the CEO got a new machine and ran it for a couple of weeks on a cloudy account before needing domain access.

        So while not impossible to avoid, it is easy to end up using it without knowing how. Kind of like how Chrome got to be so popular....

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: it is practically impossible to not use it.

          " but the default when setting up a new windows machine is to create a cloudy account and use that"

          On 7? That's what the original claim was about.

  10. FatGerman

    Re: "The company has done the right thing". Kindly explain in what way this is true? They've reneged on a deal. They've on'y decided to make good on it after 72,000 people complained, and apparently many people have not been informed of this.

    Now I'm not a businessman. I don't know how to count beans so perhaps that's why to my mind the "right thing" would be to have stuck to the deal I originally agreed upon. Because surely doing what Microsoft have done here equates to "behaving like a bunch of dishonest c**ts"?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waving ByeBye

    After a while you develop whiplash. I'm not staying for the sub-dermal hematoma.

    1. davtom

      Re: Waving ByeBye

      @Jack of Shadows What other sort of haematoma is there?

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Waving ByeBye

        I think he meant subdural.

  12. Turtle

    The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

    Apparently Microsoft didn't have the brains to realize that there would be a meaningful number of people who would take advantage of the "unlimited" offer in ways that never occurred to them.

    It would not have taken much foresight to have foreseen the inevitable outcome and so avoided this problem.

    I hope that the people who got the worst of this are the people who used the service in such a way as to cause Microsoft to rescind the offer - i.e. people who backed up multiple terabytes of data - all of which will soon be gone.

    1. Nixinkome

      Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

      I have been slow too - no emails nor in-app warning.

      I'm sure that M$ [aka by some as 'Slurp'] will keep all the terabytes of data even if it is looping crud.

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

      >Apparently Microsoft didn't have the brains to realize that there would be a meaningful number of people who would take advantage of the "unlimited" offer in ways that never occurred to them.

      Oh I'm sure MS knew exactly what would happen if they offered "unlimited" storage, but decided it was better to attract some users and lose a few when it was withdrawn, than never to have users at all.

      Personally, I prefer just to buy my own multi-TB disk. I don't need MS or Google or Amazon or Instagram, Flickr or Free Willy for storage.

      The fact that people want a "cloud" for storage speaks volumes to me about the complete failure of the IT industry to make a simple and secure server product suitable for home use. Surely a router/disk server/backup unit with stackable disks to increase storage would be the logical resting place for WindowsRT?

      1. RubberJohnny

        Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

        ">Apparently Microsoft didn't have the brains to realize that there would be a meaningful number of people who would take advantage of the "unlimited" offer in ways that never occurred to them."

        Of course they realised. That's not what this is about.

        They pulled the free storage and are now offering it back as long as you agree to them having access to your "profile, contacts and email addresses".

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "failure of the IT industry to make a simple and secure server product suitable for home use"

        Actually, there are more then some. But none of those means "off-site backup" (although some offer ore are compatible with some kind of "cloud backup" - but usually not for free beyond some GBs).

        I guess people storing TBs of data on OneDrive also had them locally, but wanted to ensure they were still available in case of a local unrecoverable damage event.

      3. SolidSquid

        Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

        Most NAS storage drives have some kind of cloud functionality these days, but you need to leave it running and you're capped at the upload speed of your connection (which generally is significantly lower than your download speed), making it often less practical than things like Dropbox or OneDisk

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

        "the complete failure of the IT industry to make a simple and secure server product suitable for home use"

        Failure to make? No, there've been such products about for years. Failure to sell, apparently so. But I suspect that the demand for storage as a service comes mostly from people wanting to access storage from mobile devices. Providing that from a home device would mean punching holes in the home router's firewall (apart from those pre-punched by too many vendors!) which would be beyond most of the potential market.

        Maybe what's needed is a home device that can combine storage with router/firewall pre-configured to provide external access AND good security.

      5. Patrician

        Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

        @P Lee...."The fact that people want a "cloud" for storage speaks volumes to me about the complete failure of the IT industry to make a simple and secure server product suitable for home use. Surely a router/disk server/backup unit with stackable disks to increase storage would be the logical resting place for WindowsRT?

        And a house fire that destroyed your "router/disk server/backup unit with stackable disks" would also destroy your data without some kind of offsite backup....Cloud backup might be worth looking at?

    3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

      I suspect Slurp PHBs never bothered to consider that the usage would follow a Weibull probability distribution. Most users would be clustered in the low usage end by there would be a large tail of users who would use much more than the average. The Weibull distribution was developed/discovered when monitoring the length of customer phone calls. Most cluster around an average but there is large tail of calls that take much longer than the average.

    4. Chris King Silver badge

      Re: The Problem Seems To Be Both Simple And Predictable.

      Apparently Microsoft didn't have the brains to realize that there would be a meaningful number of people who would take advantage of the "unlimited" offer in ways that never occurred to them.

      It would not have taken much foresight to have foreseen the inevitable outcome and so avoided this problem.

      To be fair, this "unlimited" stupidity isn't unique to Microsoft, but surely people should know by now that they're effectively signing a blank cheque when they offer anything unlimited ?

      No matter how high they set the bar before such an offer becomes a financial millstone round their necks, someone is bound to take the piss - like the guys hoarding 76Tb. If they're on Office 365 Home, that's like hiring a honking great NAS for just £60 a year - and if the sub was Office 365 University, make that £15 a year. Even with the economies of scale that Microsoft enjoys, that's just not sustainable.

  13. channel extended

    Unlimited...

    MS is unlimited like the data on my phone. Also marketing promise 'up to' Mb/s on my internet speed. When will the marketing dept's( or companies) read the memo about not promising more than can be delivered?

    Honesty is still the best policy.

  14. Skribblez

    Thanks for the notice and link for keeping our current storage limits Tim!

    Not that I use my OneDrive space, but it's good to be able to let Microsoft know they didn't get away with reducing it... :-)

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Indeed...

      I too have never used it, but it's nice to know there's somewhere (else) I can use as temporary storage.

  15. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    "the incident nevertheless serves as a reminder that free stuff in the cloud can be taken away as well as given"

    There, fixed it for you...

    1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      > that stuff in the cloud can be taken away

      After Microsoft acquired Danger and its Sidekick storage service (and Kin phone), they did an 'upgrade' which caused loss of data for many thousands of users.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Sidekick_data_loss

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    GCHQ/NSA directive

    MSFT were told to keep on slurping

    1. Efros

      Re: GCHQ/NSA directive

      They're welcome to it, I use it as a file repository for my students to download course material. Maybe they'll learn something useful in the area of physical science... we can but hope.

  17. Rory B Bellows

    They've done this before... With Skydrive

    As an early adopter of the original "Skydrive" I was given 25GB of free storage. This was a few years ago at a time when 25GB was a huge amount for free cloud space. One day I logged in to find that all of my content had been deleted and my space was down to 2gb or 5gb or whatever the basic amount was. One or two folders were still there, but they were empty. I had everything backed up offline, but I have no trust in the cloud... Things can vanish.

  18. Emmeran

    Thanks Reg

    I never would have known, so Thanks for the Heads Up guys!

    (oh and thanks for the post-pub nosh recipes also, serious kudos for that!)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fear the clear sky

    At some point in the not too distant future, companies that are happy to store our stuff for free or a one-off cost (such as when buying music, filns or TV serues) will decide they no longer want to pay to maintain or power the storage all of this stuff that doesn't make them money is sitting on.

    They will then say we either need to store it locally or pay them a monthly fee for them to continue storing it.

    At that point the lawyers are going to get very busy and once again local storage will be king.

    Anyone else think this?

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: Fear the clear sky

      What Slurp has done is make ordinary people more wary of the cloud. I can not recommend a service like Slurp's to anyone when I can set them up with 1 or 2 TB drive easily and relatively cheaply.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Fear the clear sky

        I can not recommend a service like Slurp's to anyone when I can set them up with 1 or 2 TB drive easily and relatively cheaply.

        Tell me.. when their house catches fire, or is robbed, or.... Where is that 1-2T drive going to be?

        When they trust your drive as a great backup, and drop it taking it out of whereever they keep it when they need those backups, where's the data?

        So far, while I don't trust "cloud" storage and have multi-site backups, I have found some to be reliable (looking at Box and Copy, Mega seems to take forever to sync (some months and one machine I usually only turn on during weekends still hasn't got even half-way through a 15g/30,000 file collection). I do see customers with single-drive backups who find out painfully that those portable drives they keep in their handbags (or briefcases for the menfolk) are one-knock-wonders...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: one-knock-wonders...

          ....psst that's a Seagate drive you had

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fear the clear sky

      Unfortunately, this isn't quite how I see it working out.

      I've thought for a long time that, as devices become more and more connected, storage would move more and more into the cloud. I prediction is that this will continue until it becomes impossible to buy retail storage for a price the consumer is prepared to pay.

      The storage manufacturers will get to sell the capacity as enterprise grade storage to big customers, the cloud providers, without the inconvenience of having to deal with the retail channel and logistics.

      The governments will be really happy as they get to serve warrants on storage providers to go through your "hard drive" without the effort or risks of entering your home or planting bugging software. This will probably often happen without your knowledge. Add to that the various rulings that privacy protections don't exist when you put data in the hands of a company and they'll be rubbing their hands together with glee. With the Snowden revelations about the taping of inter-data-centre cables, random trawling through people's hard drives becomes a reality, even if the cloud providers don't cooperate.

    3. Turtle

      Steam, or, Fear the clear sky

      "At some point in the not too distant future, companies that are happy to store our stuff for free or a one-off cost (such as when buying music, filns or TV serues) will decide they no longer want to pay to maintain or power the storage all of this stuff that doesn't make them money is sitting on."

      I'm waiting for Steam (and GOG too) to decide that you can only download each game you own a very few times before you have to pay for the privilege of downloading it again.

  20. DaddyHoggy

    "The Cloud providers giveth, and the Cloud providers taketh away."

    My daughter has (had?) 30GB, as both a Windows 8.1 laptop user and a Nokia Lumia 635 user. M$ have made OneDrive pretty much integral to the Win8 experience, most of their pop-ups have been about the ease/awesomeness of OneDrive/CameraRoll - auto-storing her photos from her phone on OneDrive so she can seamlessly access it when she uses her laptop.

    I will have to check how much storage she's used (and check when we last made a local backup).

    Perhaps it's time to bite the bullet and build myself a low powered linux box, and set a little ftp server up...?

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Linux

      Perhaps it's time to bite the bullet and build myself a low powered linux box, and set a little ftp server up...?

      I've done a teency bit of playing with Owncloud. Looks interesting - but for my purposes I need something else (primary and backup web server - would be nice to have Owncloud servers seamlessly sync). That's the only reason we haven't gone in to full deployment yet. Want to keep things nicely synced between 3-5 users (depending on particular directories, eg accounts between management but tools between all of us), both web server sites and also have a backup to the main office server. Clients are Linux and Win7.

      BTSync also looks promising for our small shop. I could probably fairly easily set up a front end at each site with OC and use BTSync to keep everything else happy.

      Hmm.. El Reg, any chance you guys could do some work on comparing Owncloud, BT Sync and a few other offerings?

  21. Thaumaturge

    Uh...Why?

    16GB sticks now under $10. Problem solved.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Uh...Why? @ Thaumaturge

      16GB sticks now under $10

      Unfortunately many of them are of the nature of "write once read never". Hardly a good option for backup.

    2. Paul Shirley

      Re: Uh...Why?

      Reliable 128Gb USB3 sticks are as little as £24 right now. Despite Microsoft's best efforts to bloat my C drive with visual studio etc. I can still squeeze a couple of full drive images on mine.

      The data drives are more of a problem and the cloud is far too slow to ever upload them to even if i had enough tb's available. Big backup drives and a firesafe are here for some more years.

  22. Kiwi Silver badge

    I suspect it's already been commented on, but...

    "...overusing a separate unlimited storage offer..."

    Could that explain their constant idiotic security, UI design and other mindfuckingly ridiculous ideas? They're a bunch of retards who don't understand even simple concepts like the meaning of "unlimited"?

    1. Martin Maloney
      Holmes

      deja vu all over again

      It's the same scam that we've seen from cellular providers. They hook people in with their unlimited data plans, and then they come out with a set of limited plans. They claim that they were "forced" to take this action by people who "abused" their "unlimited" plan -- by actually using it! They even go so far as to denigrate the "abusers" as being "unfair" to everyone else.

      The dirty little secret is that they had it all planned out that way from the very beginning.

      Add "business ethics" to the late George Carlin's list of oxymorons.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      you're absolutely wrong, they DO understand the meaning of "unlimited", and how people fall for this word. That's exactly why they use this word, likewise "free".

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Misdirection

    The whole thing is a massive misdirection to con you into agreeing to even more egregious things during the sign/up, conversion step. They are basically mirroring Google's grab of everything you store there, plus you address book, email etc. become their property they can sell to the highest bidder.

  24. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    Windows 10 is 'free'....

    ... for now...

  25. JassMan Silver badge
    Trollface

    the whole thing is a ploy...

    ... to get people hooked onto Office365 as well. Once you have used Office 365 for a year and have loads of data stored on the cloud PLUS your restored 15GB of photos, are you really going to abandon M$. If you think pruning 10GB of photos is hard now, just think waht it will like trying to work out wherre to put all you other important documents from the space you got for free with Office. The plan is just a long term strategy to get people to pay for Office 365 12 months from now since htey can't get paying customers any other way.

  26. 404 Silver badge
    Coat

    Marketing = Drug Dealing 101

    The first taste is always free...

    Disclaimer: I'm anti-cloud - I figure if you can't fold, spindle, and mutilate your data when your internet connection is down, it ain't your data. Call me crazy, but I learned that back in the 90's when US Robotics was still making modem racks, high density modem cards, and flashing to 56k were something new and exciting. Sure was a wondrous thing to turn the lights out in the largest Qwest datacenter colo, watch all the lights on 100's of modem racks blinking from folks connecting/disconnecting in the dark. Didn't take too much imagination to wonder what all those folks were doing at 2am in the morning while we were doing maintenance, porn without Playboy was new, and it probably pissed them off to lose connection in the middle of a download - didn't have a resume function back then lol. Used to wonder how much damage one guy with a supersoaker water gun could do since all our competition colo-ed in the same datacenter, just separated by chainlink fencing.

    On topic: My office and my home networks back up to each other on NAS boxen at each end (30 miles or so apart as the crow flies), with a fiber connection (had the supplies/equipment, figured why not? Overkill is good.) to a larger NAS sitting in a power/climate-controlled Amish-built shed in my back yard. My desktop data drives are hot-swappable so I can fling them out the window in case of fire*, I even make a few bucks reselling remote back up services for select local clients who were overly impressed by the big tits... I mean cloudy sales representative... and accepted my compromise to give them 'Cloud' bragging rights** at the local Chamber of Commerce.

    *I began my career in IT by screwing up State of Arizona workstations to such a degree and with such regularity (I was a meddler, the kind I have a love/hate relationship with now, but they pay the bills), that the main state IT director came down and had a one-on-one talk with me in a closed room with no witnesses. After that, I had to do my own research and fix whatever I broke software-wise, which led to working for free putting workstations together at a local computer shop on the weekends. I attribute my back up fetish to a death threat from the wife years and years ago - not only did I destroy her computer and lose all her data, I did it TWICE. Men have been killed for less and I believed her when she said men die in their sleep all the time. I know numbers and statistics - married men dying in their sleep *does* seem abnormally high.

    **That's a big deal in a small town in the South - I know of a lawn and garden center with a higher security network than most banks, tech bragging down here seems to be a subconscious reaction to the general world belief that the southern US states are backwards in every way. Interesting to observe if you've ever been anywhere in your life.

    Mine's the antistatic coat with encrypted SSD backup drives filling every pocket...

  27. Nathan 13

    Storing 1KB of personal data

    With Microsoft is 1KB too much IMHO.

    Let alone in their very changeable weather cloud.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    mega.nz gives you 50 GB free.

  29. smij

    When will we learn?

    Haven't we learned about "free" on the internet yet?

  30. Daz555

    ....this is annoying. I was using my 365 storage to backup my NAS to OneDrive via the excellent Goodsync software. Back to the drawing board.

  31. Artaxerxes

    Can MS please let me view documents in my browser without downloading them to a fucking Zip file or viewing them online?

    Pisses me right off.

    And Onedrive is a waste of time.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another great example of people expecting stuff on the internet to be free and then moaning like buggery when it isn't.

    If you want storage space then flippin-well pay for it...

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