Office 365 ProPlus Customers Getting OneDrive for Business Soon

Office 365 ProPlus Customers Getting OneDrive for Business Soon

Clarifying the schedule

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that Office 365 ProPlus subscribers would be getting OneDrive for Business cloud storage starting in December 2014. Today, the company clarified its plans: It will begin rolling out OneDrive for Business to its Office 365 Pro Plus subscribers by the end of the year as planned, but it won't fully rollout until the end of January 2015. And yes, they're getting unlimited storage too.

I had actually forgotten that Office 365 ProPlus customers were getting OneDrive for Business, but sure enough Microsoft announced that change—and the then-new move to 1 TB of storage per account, up from just 25 GB—back in April. I wrote about these events in Big (Storage) Changes for OneDrive for Business at the time.

This is interesting on a number of levels, but the original point of Office 365 ProPlus was to provide a way for a single user to gain subscription-based access to the Office desktop applications only. It was a counterpart of sorts to Office 365 Small Business (now replaced with Office 365 Business Essentials, see Microsoft Announces Major Changes to Office 365 for Small and Midsized Businesses) and a few other Office 365 business plans that provide access only to the Office 365 cloud services (Exchange, SharePoint and Lync). And of course other Office 365 plans provide the "full meal deal," giving customers access to both.

But as part of what we can now see as a rolling set of improvements to OneDrive for Business—improvements that will eventually include further merging with consumer OneDrive technologies—Microsoft in April said it would deliver OneDrive for Business to Office 365 ProPlus customers too. At that time, the expectation was these customers would get 1 TB of storage like everyone else. And for now, at least, that is what they'll get.

But as you must know, Microsoft has also since announced its plans to offer Office 365 business subscribers with unlimited OneDrive for Business storage. And since Office 365 ProPlus is indeed a business subscription, those users will also be getting unlimited OneDrive for Business storage ... whenever that upgrade goes live.

So a rough timeline looks like this:

Before the end of 2014. OneDrive for Business will begin rolling out to existing Office 365 ProPlus customers, offering 1 TB of cloud storage.

Before the end of January 2015. Microsoft expects that all Office 365 ProPlus customers will have OneDrive for Business with 1 TB of storage.

Sometime in 2015. Office 365 ProPlus customers will be upgraded to unlimited OneDrive for Business cloud storage.

What's odd is that as part of this year's change to the Office 365 plans for small- and medium-sized businesses, Microsoft also announced a new offering called Office 365 Business that is an alternative of sorts to Office 365 ProPlus. That offering costs $8.25 per user per month ($99/year), where Office 365 costs $12 per user per month with an annual commitment (e.g. is $144 per user per year). So if you're in the market for this kind of thing, you may wish comparing the two. From what I can tell, the only appreciable difference between the two is what you get from an Office application perspective: Pro Plus includes some applications—Access and Lync—that are not found in Office 365 Business.

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