Dropbox wants Enterprises to store their content in Dropbox. Box wants it in Box. Egnyte, Accellion, Syncplicity … you get the picture. They all want to be your provider as well.
And Microsoft has something to lose if it lets that happen. And it’s not the dollars (you pay for services on the aforementioned vendors’ clouds as units of storage) that these other companies could potentially earn.
The world’s largest software company needs you to keep living and working in its products, like Office and SharePoint, which you wouldn’t have to do if you stored your stuff on these other clouds.
How Bad Does It Want It?
Today Microsoft announced that Microsoft Office 365 subscribers (Home, Personal, or University) can now store 1 terabyte of information on their cloud for free.
In April it announced all One Drive for Business customers could store 1 terabyte without incurring extra charges as well.
What this amounts to, for most of us, on a personal level, is that as long as we keep using (and paying for) Microsoft products like Office 365, then we’ll have access to more storage than we’ll ever need.
Given that, the personal/home/student subscription might not seem all that expensive at all. (Microsoft Office 365 with 1 terabyte of storage costs $6.99 a month.)
But if you think this latest announcement isn’t aimed at the Enterprise, think again.
After all, consider how Dropbox and Box win over business customers. They first get them to use their File Sync and Share solutions as individuals, free of charge. Once they win over enough individual users in a company, they knock on the CIO’s door and offer them Enterprise editions.
Most consider it to be an easy sell because cloud storage is becoming a must and user acceptance is bound to be high, given that it’s the workers who brought it into the workplace.
Microsoft Has the CIO’s Endorsement
But Microsoft tools are already in the workplace, and the company management and business partners have already blessed it. And now that storage on its cloud, for the most part, is free to Office 365 subscribers, then there are fewer reasons to switch or stay with Dropbox, Box or any of the others.