It seems Microsoft can’t give away enough cloud storage at the minute: US-based users of Bing Rewards can grab 100GB of free OneDrive storage for two years.
Bing Rewards, as you’d expect, is an incentive-based service that allows users to collect points the more they use Microsoft’s search engine which can then be exchanged for rewards such as e-gift cards. However according to Windows Central, the OneDrive offer is completely free and is not linked to any incentive-based usage.
This continues to play into the market of commoditisation of storage; giant tech vendors being able to offer storage at extremely low prices alongside other services, putting pressure on standalone players.
Back in October Microsoft offered unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 customers, expanding on its June offer of 1 terabyte per customer. At the same time, storage provider Bitcasa stopped its unlimited offerings, putting the landscape into intriguing perspective. The lowest Office price plan, Office 365 Personal, amounts to approximately $7 a month, with cloud storage, while Bitcasa’s previous unlimited offer was at $10.
This isn’t to mention Microsoft’s partnership with Dropbox for cloud storage, which at the time raised eyebrows given the position of OneDrive, but it makes sense. Dropbox is in need of a more enterprise-centric focus, while analysts argued that Microsoft needed to further assure the industry it could “play nicely” with competitors; CEO Satya Nadella, building upon the availability of Office for iPads and Android tablets, has made it quite clear he wants to go as far away as possible from the previous walled garden approach Microsoft employed.
Aaron Levie, the CEO of Box, told CNBC on the advent of his company’s IPO that the cost of storage going down over time benefits Box’s infrastructure costs, rather than affecting profits in an adverse way.
The move towards a service-based economy and storage as a feature, not a product, is continuing apace. You can visit here to claim your free 100GB of OneDrive storage (US only).