While you were out last Friday night -- having drinks, watching your local high school team play football under the lights, dancing or enjoying a quiet dinner with that special someone -- Douglas Pearce was in his office at Microsoft penning a blog post.
Even the he knew the timing was weird.
“While it might seem strange to announce new features on a Friday evening,” Pearce, the group program manager for OneDrive, wrote in the company’s blog, “we’ve been listening to the commentary about storage on the new iPhones released today and we wanted to get you more storage right away.”
A Little Gift to Win You Over
Pearce then went on to declare that OneDrive for iOS users would be given 30 GBs (15 GB base and 15 GB camera roll bonus) of storage for free.
While, in part, he was coming to the rescue of early iPhone 6 and iOS 8 adopters who were freaking about not having enough storage for all of their photos on their new devices, he was also encouraging them to cross a bridge and find a home where a “camera roll” full of pictures could be stored without discernment or expense.
It’s Microsoft’s way to give a little and to win a whole lot of new friends.
And, oh, there’s that other matter of moving the important stuff in your personal world over to OneDrive. We suspect that Pearce hopes that you’ll love your experience with their app so much that you will want to store everything in your life (including your work life) there.
If you think Microsoft’s grand plan is to get you to pay out the nose for the increasing amount of personal storage you’ll want down the road, if you’re typical, that’s highly unlikely to happen. In fact, as time goes on, you’re likely to get higher storage amounts for free. Some experts say that this may be the case even if Microsoft has to take a loss on the deal.
After all, this is the time to win market share. While Microsoft productivity solutions were pretty much “must haves” in the world of PCs, that’s not yet the case on mobile devices and the Cloud.
And Microsoft is making bold moves to change that right now.
Segue From Personal to Business
If you’ve followed Microsoft CEO’s Satya Nadella’s mobile-first, cloud-first announcements at all, you know that he envisions a Microsoft that will be the “operating system for all human activity” or, in other words, the single pane of glass through which you see your entire world, both personal and professional.
In Nadella’s world you’d be accessing the OneDrive app (both OneDrive and OneDrive for Business) and Office 365 from wherever you happen to be, via any device, regardless of which role you’re in at the moment (CEO or soccer mom). So if you have to be at a marketing meeting at 4 and a game at 7, you can get the agenda and the address of the soccer field from the same app.
Provided you use both One Drive and OneDrive for Business, that is. This is the same logic that Dropbox is using in selling Dropbox for Business -- you move from your personal to your business files without leaving the app. We should probably point out that the beauty of this is that employer files remain within their control and management and your personal files remains yours, but your experience with the apps is nearly identical.
It will be interesting to see if this strategy wins out over the one that Box, EMC Syncplicity, Share File, VMWare AirWatch, Egnyte and others are using.
Free Is About Market Share, Not Money
So why was Pearce in his office writing a blog post on a Friday night? Simple. To get you to move an important chunk of your life to OneDrive in hopes that you’ll like it so much that you’ll want to put all of the files in your life there as well. After all, Microsoft can’t be the “operating system for all human activity” unless you do.
We should note that the OneDrive 30 GB offer is only good until the end of the month.
And if you don’t use an iPhone, you can still take advantage of the offer. “This also applies to anyone who already uses the OneDrive camera roll on Windows Phone (Windows Phone Store), Android (Google Play Store) and Windows (Download) – you’ll see your storage go up as well. Same for any existing iPhone users who backup their photos to OneDrive,” wrote Pearce.