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One For The Marketing 'Droids (Changes To OneDrive)

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:00 am
by Alan Kirk
A hint for the marketing 'droids out there.

Do not, do not, make offers that you don't intend to honour based on the assumption that nobody could possibly hog that many of your company's resources and products.

A case in point: An offer of "unlimited" cloud storage. An offer which Microsoft's 'droids made for OneDrive users when they subscribe to Office 365, because hey, "Unlimited", it's a great selling word, right, right?? (OneDrive is formerly SkyDrive, but it had to be renamed because far too many individual judges and large chunks of the alleged "justice" system frequently tend to be pathological in their stupidity, but I digress.)

"Unlimited" is a pretty unambiguous word. Microsoft apparently used it assuming that no users, anywhere, ever, either would or could stick their snouts that far down in the trough.


No matter what offer a company makes, then unless reasonableness limits are placed on it there will always be some Homer J Simpson, somewhere, who will take you at your buzz-generating word and suck down your resources like there is no tomorrow.

Which Microsoft has just discovered to its shock and surprise.
Since we started to roll out unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 consumer subscribers, a small number of users backed up numerous PCs and stored entire movie collections and DVR recordings. In some instances, this exceeded 75 TB per user or 14,000 times the average. Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high-value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users.
And as a result of this, OneDrive users the world over are getting screwed, to a greater or lesser extent.
We’re no longer planning to offer unlimited storage to Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscribers. Starting now, those subscriptions will include 1 TB of OneDrive storage.
This isn't a wholly unreasonable deal, especially as with an Office 365 Home subscription as I have it is effectively 1TB per person for each of the 5 licences. But the thing is this... it's not a wholly unreasonable deal if that's the deal that you signed on for in the first place.
100 GB and 200 GB paid plans are going away as an option for new users and will be replaced with a 50 GB plan for $1.99 per month in early 2016.
Hmm. 50 whole gig, you say? My photos folder is 614 gigabytes. So if I wanted to archive that in the raw I'd need 13 lots of 50 gig (and I would have to manually tweak the amount as I took more and more shots, and in the meantime I'd be paying for space that I'm not using) * 12 months = 310 bucks per year.

I was going to compare this unfavourably with Amazon's offering which is cents per gigabyte but that appears to be its commercial offering. It has a retail offering as well which offers unlimited photos plus 5 gig of videos and other files for $11.99 per year. Hmmm, tough call, would I rather pay $310 or just $12?

They also have "unlimited everything" for $59.99 per year. I would sense that Amazon would rue the day that they made that offer, but it does have "non-commercial use only" in the terms of use. Even so, there will still be the video backupers who may abuse the privilege. And if Amazon drops the boom on them they may fall foul of the consumer authorities for using the word "unlimited". We shall see.

But wait, there's still some free storage, right? Indeed. Let's go back to the future:
Free OneDrive storage will decrease from 15 GB to 5 GB for all users, current and new. The 15 GB camera roll storage bonus will also be discontinued. These changes will start rolling out in early 2016.
Meanwhile, Google Drive still offers 15 gig, which is more realistic in this day and age. I checked my own OneDrive folder and found it to be 5.26Gig, though I'll admit that it does need a cleanout and in any case I still have 1TB from Office 365.

So between Google's offering and Amazon's offering, and making an offer that it should have been blindingly obvious[1] would be rabidly abused by some and which Microsoft therefore never meant to honour... Microsoft would appear to have shot itself in the foot. And not just with a pistol, no no, I'm talking about loading up a Napoleonic era cannon, loading it with canister shot, and sticking their collective foot in front of it. Because it is one thing to endure the embarrassment of having to admit that your offer wasn't real. (Again, "unlimited" is a word that leaves little to the imagination.) But it is quite another to then not only fail to improve your services, but rather reduce them and hike up the charges for them. All in all, it's not a good look.

So, Microsoft, the next time a creative type suggests making an unsustainable offer, I suggest... a Nerf ball. Squarely between the eyes. Or use any substitute material that may be to hand.

And then get someone who understands what your competitors are doing.

[1] Blindingly obvious to anyone who doesn't have a goatee beard, their hair in a ponytail, and the label "Hi, I'm The Creative Talent" written in crayon and pinned to their Calvin Klein T-Shirt, anyway.

Re: One For The Marketing 'Droids (Changes To OneDrive)

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:00 pm
by stephen waters
Di you hear of the Hoover free flights fiasco from 1990's? Brought down the company!

The Hoover free flights promotion was a marketing promotion begun in 1992. promised free airline tickets to customers who purchased more than £100 worth of its products. However, Hoover had not anticipated that huge numbers of customers would buy the qualifying products not because they wanted the actual appliances, but simply because they wanted the tickets.... as the normal price of these flights was several times more than the £100 purchase required to get free tickets. The company subsequently found itself overwhelmed by the demand both for tickets and for new vacuum cleaners, and by the cost of the flights. Hoover had apparently not anticipated this outcome.


It is quite possible the MS marketing guys had futurely been employed by the famous Sirius Cybernetics Corporation and escaped being put up against the wall and shot by escaping through a rift in the time-space continuum.

Share and Enjoy!

Re: One For The Marketing 'Droids (Changes To OneDrive)

Posted: Mon Nov 30, 2015 3:53 am
by Martin Ryan

Re: One For The Marketing 'Droids (Changes To OneDrive)

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:42 pm
by Alan Kirk
Martin Ryan wrote:Looks like Amazon missed the lesson.
I mentioned Amazon offerings in the original post but was not aware of that specific one. It looks to me like they're trying to buy market share. And with the $5 offering they've left themselves a huge "Get Out Of Jail Free" card:
Techcrunch wrote:But be aware that the $5.00 is not a one-time fee. Cloud Drive is sold as an annual subscription, which means when the service comes up for renewal, you may be again paying full price (unless the company runs a similar promotion, of course.)
Adobe did something similar with Creative Cloud. For owners of any CS5 / CS6 package they offered an introductory subscription of $29.95 / month for the first year for, essentially, access to the equivalent of the old Master Suite which is all of the imaging software ( Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Flash, Premiere Pro, etc, etc), plus Acrobat Pro and a few other audio-visual niceties. (But not RoboHelp, annoyingly.) Now that that year is over it's jacked up to $49.95. Some may have dropped it at that point (though you'd be paying $49.95 per month for a very long time to get anywhere near the stratospheric cost of the CS5/CS6 Master editions). Some users may have dropped back to just the photographer's package. (Photoshop plus Lightroom at $10/month, which isn't a bad deal and is probably intended to keep Adobe's market lead.) But I'll bet that they retained a lot after the price went up through customer inertia, which is probably what Amazon is hoping for with this offer.

Re: One For The Marketing 'Droids (Changes To OneDrive)

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 8:49 pm
by Alan Kirk
stephen waters wrote:Di you hear of the Hoover free flights fiasco from 1990's? Brought down the company!
I hadn't heard that before, but the revelation that marketing 'droids flounder when confronted with simple and obvious mathematics:

Code: Select all

$Air Tickets = 2*$Cleaner Price = We're Screwed
is not an astonishing one to me.

But an entertaining one, in a schadenfreude kind of way...