Give us back our storage (OneDrive / Office 365)

This is a post in response to official blog post "OneDrive storage plans change in pursuit of productivity and collaboration" that should be titled "OneDrive going back in time couple of years" - link: https://blog.onedrive.com/onedrive_changes/

I wrote this as a comment on official OneDrive Uservoice forum, but due to 5000 character limit I had to split it, here are my thoughts in one piece, nothing else changed. Link to uservoice "
Give us back our storage" is here: https://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/suggestions/10524099-give-us-back-our-storage

You can view my earlier OneDrive related post here: http://itflame.blogspot.hr/2014/11/please-improve-onedrive.html

My comment:

I've got a "word or two" to say about this as well. I became Office365 user just because of this. I payed a year of Home subscription, even though I used only one OneDrive, and had Office running on just 2 computers (and even that barely opening a file or two every once in a while, all of which I could have done with free office suites, nothing special). I've used nothing else from the package, basically paying a nice Home subscription for a year just to get the OneDrive storage. I've been looking at cloud storage for a while but the "unlimited" annoncement finally made me pull the trigger.

Than it took me 3 months to upload ~4-5TB of files. Those weren't BluRay rips or music, or whatever, I've uploaded home made videos recorded with my HD camcorder. Why it took me 3 months? Well, even though I had 100/100 optical connection at my disposal I couldn't upload more than 8Mbps in one browser, and I did not want to use desktop client as it too sucked a lot at a time. So I was juggling with 3-4 browser windows to get my peak speeds to around 30Mbps, but there was another thing holding it all back. Almost 50% of files had to be re-uploaded, as they'd just throw an error after 100% was reached (both a 1kb files and 1GB files alike). But ok, I've finally uploaded my precious videos after several months of everyday WORK (yes, work, as I had to babysit each and every file).

Than a time of a bit more peace came, and I even switched my Phone Camera uploads from Dropbox to OneDrive. That too had issues with failed uploads 50% of the time, but after a while Microsoft did something and I was finally reasonably satisfied with the service. That was roughly this summer. But there were still issues - Microsoft to this day did not start to support large files (ok, it's better now , but still not enough), they still don't support deduplication on neither server nor client side, they don't support the delta backups (differential backups), and many more such larger or smaller issues. Of the issues I follow only 4-5 were fixed in those 12 months, and dozens are still lingering. Just see the more or less complete list here on Uservoice post I made a while ago: https://onedrive.uservoice.com/forums/262982-onedrive/suggestions/6682208-onedrive-general-suggestions-for-improvement

In the meantime I bought a tablet and got a free Personal for a year. I waited, and on November 1st my Home subscription expired, and I've extended it with this Personal. I had some issues going from Personal to Home so I left it for next weekend when I'll have more time, and besides - like I wrote above - I wasn't using other 4 seats anyway, so I was in no hurry. That "Home" was more of a thing that would allow me using Office apps on phone, tablet, old laptop and my primary desktop all at once. Not that I need that really, as read-only is fine on all but my desktop, and again - even on desktop I barely use office apps to do anything most of the time.

And today - I'm HAPPY! Happy that I did not upgrade to Home, as this blog news ( direct link: https://blog.onedrive.com/onedrive_changes/ ) just cut the usability of this service to zero for me.

The most important thing is - I was a very pro-Microsoft user. I like Microsoft products and ecosystem in general, and always advise people to go that route for their needs. Likewise I was recommending OneDrive / Office365 everywhere I went. and being in IT, my vote usually carried weight with friends and family, colleagues and such. But no more... if Microsoft does this downgrade, going back literally 2-3 years in time and offering service with these limits, and these shortcomings (see link above), not only that I won't recommend Office365 & OneDrive (obviously), but I'll simply HAVE to recommend competition (eg. Box still offers me 50GB free, and Dropbox is simply a better solution, Google Drive is readily accessible to everyone as well, and so on). But I'm sure it won't stop there. Microsoft was on the edge of getting me and and whole my family and many friends to go completely in their ecosystem direction.... yet now this turns the table completely. I can have all I really need with competitor's solutions. And I'm sure my company can have pretty much the same, thanks God we did not forgo our Office 2003/2007 licences for the Office365 "upgrade" (ahem?) in the Win10 upgrade scheme.

Altogether, I'm so disappointed with Microsoft's decision to go this route that I can't explain it enough. While I was hoping that one day all my files will be on OneDrive, and that it becomes a central piece of my data solution (only differential backups were lacking for that happen even earlier), now I have to go look for another company and another solution. In process, I'm glad that Dropbox is getting integration in Microsoft's own tools, it will make the transition easier, and I'm sure others will follow suite as well, specially once users start to leave OneDrive in droves. And instead of keeping my ~5TB files on a Home subscription, you'll get no more money from me. Luckily Windows 10 will keep having free upgrades (though I'm not so sure Microsoft won't go back on that decision like they just did with "unlimited" OneDrive), and I won't have to spend any money on their products. And sure as hell I'm giving up on ever again recommending Office 365 for business / enterprise use of any kind, as some day this could happen again, and again.. Keeping old Office 2003 / 2007 will do just fine for 99% of what people do with these files anyway... And in time free tools (both online and on premise) keep getting better, and I'd rather go to LibreOffice on PC, and King Office on Android, than pay for another year of MS subscriptions, specially not on a large scale business. LibreOffice already proved a good enough solution for ~100 computers in smaller offices, those that need more never needed more than old Office 2003 which will last forever, and many will be fine even with read-only access from "universal" apps.

I can't underline and flag this in any way, but Microsoft was on a sure way to switching it's monopoly from on-premise Office to cloud solutions like Office365+OneDrive, but this will set them back so much that in the long run they'll be overrun by competition.

Well, anyway, rant is mostly over, thanks for nothing Microsoft, beta-testing your OneDrive was no fun, and I'm not exactly sad to leave... I'm just sad I spent so much time uploading all my files, and all for nothing... was supposed to be worth it if files stayed there "forever" but obviously - NOT.