Companies that want to use Microsoft Corp.’s cloud storage service OneDrive for Business no longer need to sign up for Office 365 or SharePoint Online.
Starting April 1st, OneDrive (formerly known as SkyDrive Pro) will be available as a part of Office Online, Microsoft’s free browser-based productivity suite.
“Over the past year we’ve seen many customers using SkyDrive Pro (the predecessor to OneDrive for Business) as their first Office 365 ‘workload’ in the cloud alongside their existing on-premise infrastructure,” said Julia White, general manager of technical product management for Office 365, in a statement yesterday. “Today we’re excited to share that we’re making it even easier for customers to get started with OneDrive for Business.”
She said among the key changes are:
- OneDrive will be available for purchase as a standalone service and as part of Office 365
- It’s now easier to find and manage work files as OneDrive for Business gets a bump in file size and storage limits and improved interfaces for Office Mobile for iPhone and Android
- On-premise SharePoint customers can now configure OneDrive for business more easily.
The standalone offer gives businesses 25 GB of storage per employee, with the option to purchase additional storage, offline sync and access from multiple devices and platforms.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) also developed simpler controls for the most common tasks in the service. The controls can be placed directly above a user’s personal document folder allowing the user to create new Office docs, upload files, sync files for office use and share files with one click.’
The cloud storage service also now comes with a new search box to help users find documents easier.
Microsoft also plans to include auditing and reporting features, encryption at rest, data loss prevention, extensibility and higher storage limits in the future.
Microsoft is currently offering two promotional offers from April to September this year in line with the OneDrive for Business launch:
- A 50 per cent discount promotional pricing of $2.50 per user, per month in all licensing agreements and programs
- For customers with Office with SA or Office 365 ProPlus: A $1.50 per user, per month price