Microsoft is feeling generous, competitive and a bit more aggressive as it uncaps its Office 365 storage space and dissolves pricing tiers that once bounded the service.
Microsoft has been forecasting a cloud-filled future all summer long and now the Windows maker is making it a bit easier to embrace its overcast outlook. Microsoft is offering Office 365 for $6.99 per month, which includes unlimited OneDrive storage.
"We're thrilled to continue our quest of making OneDrive the world's cloud storage leader - and, always a key part of the best productivity service with Office 365. We're all in," says Chris Jones, corporate vice president of OneDrive and SharePoint.
The $6.99 price point brings Microsoft's offering roughly $3 below Google's monthly pricing for cloud storage. Subscribers get access to Microsoft's cloud-based productivity tools, a value Jones talks up in the announcement of the expansion.
"While unlimited storage is another important milestone for OneDrive, we believe the true value of cloud storage is only realized when it is tightly integrated with the tools people use to communicate, create, and collaborate, both personally and professionally," says Jones.
Right now, Office 365 subscribers have to sign up to be among the first to enjoy the unbounded cloud storage. Jones says the unlimited storage initiative will roll out over the next several months, which leaves in place the existing storage restraints for individuals who don't seize the opportunity.
"That is why unlimited storage is just one small part of our broader promise to deliver a single experience across work and life that helps people store, sync, share, and collaborate on all the files that are important to them, all while meeting the security and compliance needs of even the most stringent organizations," says Jones.
Microsoft's OneDrive upgrade comes just after it released its earnings for first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year. Microsoft surprised Wall Street and inspired a bit of confidence in investors when it revealed the robust success of its "cloud first, mobile first" strategy.
Subscriptions for the Home and Personal versions of Office 365 reached approximately 7 million, rising 25 percent for the previous quarter. On the enterprise side of things, Microsoft reported a 5 percent rise in businesses transitioning to Office 365.
"We delivered a strong start to the year, with continued cloud momentum and meaningful progress across our device businesses," said Amy Hood, Microsoft's executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We will continue to invest in high-growth opportunities and drive efficiencies across the organization to deliver long-term shareholder value."