The Microsoft Onedrive, their cloud storage platform available independently or as a integrated part of Office 365, is having its capacity slashed from the very healthy ‘unlimited’ to a potentially meagre 1TB. More worryingly, though, this may be indicative of where the industry is heading as a whole. So far only Home and Student accounts are affected but no firm decision has been given either way on whether business users might be facing the same cuts in the not too distant future.

As usual it seems ,ostensibly, that a few bad apples are spoiling it for the rest of us. Microsoft have released a statement explaining the reduction citing a handful of users who are using over 75TB of storage, possibly for illicit file sharing of illegal or copyrighted material. This sheer amount of files, several thousand times the average, is putting a strain on Microsoft’s servers that, after a swathe of recent cost cutting, they would much rather avoid. This cut follows nearly 8000 staff being made redundant earlier in the year with an additional 1000 reportedly following in October. It’s interesting that once staff cuts have been made services follow as well.

Understandable a lot of users are expressing serious discontent with the changes, especially those with a focus on media production who rely on the unlimited capacity to store high-resolution photos and videos. One user, posting on the Onedrive community forums, said they had switched to PC from Mac to specifically take advantage of cheap price to storage ratio and they were now looking at the unenviable process of moving to Google Drive or back to iOS.

Users of the free Onedrive will see availability cut from 15GB to 5GB and new subscribers will have packages start at 50GB, down from the 100 or 200GB previously available. Customers over the new limits will have a year to reduce their files down to the new limit and those already on the larger storage packages won’t be affected.

Looking forward, analysts in the industry are saying this isn’t an unusual move by the company and it’s really indicative of the way the sector is moving as a whole. Companies offering cloud storage are rapidly finding their services becoming overloaded as the popularity of file sharing grows and so are having to share resources over a greater and greater number of users. The expectation is that Google may well be the last company to offer fully unlimited storage in the future but even they may find themselves suffering for it.