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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Microsoft is No Longer Serious About gaining Market Share in the Cloud..

All companies need to make a profit.  Some companies, however, garner a reputation for screwing customers in an attempt to squeeze a little extra money out of them.

A few months ago, I posted a comparison of Microsoft and Google's online file storage and email services entitled Microsoft is Finally Serious About Its Online Services.  Now, Microsoft has taken a huge step backwards in its attempt to attract customers into its ecosystem.  It reinforces my view that Microsoft is not a company to be trusted.

Until this change, the owner of a free OneDrive account could access online version of MS Office and could enjoy 15 GB of online storage.  Users could get another 15 GB of storage by signing up for photo storage.  Now that many people have come to rely on this service, Microsoft is pulling the rug out from under them.  If you were enjoying your 30 GB of online space, you now have to make due with a mere 5 GB.  This does not just apply to new accounts.  Your existing account will be cut back as well.

If you want to avoid this cuts, you need to pony up cash for a paid account.  Microsoft is also raising the price of its paid plans and doing away with its unlimited plan.

I cannot begin to imagine what the Microsoft execs were thinking when they pulled the rug out from under their customers other than getting a few more paying customers short term while turning off a generation of customers who were just beginning to trust the new Microsoft.  The company has a reputation for changing the rules on its customers for its financial gain.  I thought that a new CEO would change things.  But this move kills that notion.  Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
Bottom line: if Microsoft offers you a good deal on any good or service, don't really on it to continue.  It is no more reliable than a subscription that gives you an initial discount.  Maybe it is worse since an up-front discount at least informs you what the later terms will be.

After this action, users may be concerned about other attempts to squeeze more revenue out of services on which they depend.  There have been rumors that Microsoft may eventually charge a subscription for Windows updates.   Microsoft Office, which has already moved from a pay once to a pay forever subscription model may see price increases as well.  Other free Microsoft services such as Skype may also see cutbacks. Perhaps Microsoft will kill its free Office 365 cloud offerings, or start charging for its Office phone apps. These possibilities make customers wary of growing too dependent on Microsoft and encourage them to look for alternatives.

I had begun to move some of my work from Google Drive to Microsoft in the last few months.   But now I'm running back to Google and staying there.  Even if I like some aspects of Microsoft's online services better, I much prefer the stable terms that Google has maintained for years.

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