Microsoft is Giving Away OneDrive for Free: Should You Switch?

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Microsoft is Giving Away OneDrive for Free: Should You Switch?

By Tracy van der Schyff | February 15, 2018

Microsoft is giving away OneDrive for free for Box, Dropbox, and Google customers. This may be the right time for you to make the switch, but is it worth it?
In this blog, I’ll share Microsoft’s announcement and some cool things OneDrive can do so you can make the right decision for you.

Microsoft’s Announcement: Giving Away OneDrive for Free

On February 6, Microsoft announced an offer to present free OneDrive for Business accounts to existing Box, Dropbox, and Google customers. The offer is valid from Feb. 6 to June 30, 2018 and provides OneDrive for Business free for the remaining length of their paid contract with Box, Dropbox, or Google (up to a 3-year maximum).

The partner program, Microsoft FastTrack, will facilitate customers with the initial consultations and planning for their software migrations to Office 365 and the other Microsoft Online services.

“OneDrive with Office 365 lets you share and work together on all your files—so you can find and share files from any device, work with anyone inside or outside of your organization and protect your work with enterprise grade security and compliance.”

Easy Integration with Cloud Service Providers

The RESTful APIs built by Microsoft for the Office apps has enabled developers to easily integrate their services and accelerated partnerships with cloud service providers, which in turn earned Microsoft a “partner-friendly” label.

Recent improvements to OneDrive

OneDrive for Business storage and file sync usage tripled in 2017 and with over 350,000 organizations on OneDrive it’s easy to see why this would be an offer to consider. Recent additions such as files restore, synchronization improvements and a new sync client just sweetens the deal.

Microsoft’s commitment to delivering a great product is clear when you look at the Office 365 Roadmap. See table below with details regarding the 32 updates released to general availability, 8 in stages of rolling out and 13 in development and testing, which I truly consider an impressive achievement.

Launched - 32

Rolling Out - 8

ATP For SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, and Teams

Customer Guided tour to onboard new users

DLP policy tips in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business

File Hover Card

Files On-Demand

File Move in SharePoint and OneDrive

Increasing File Path Limit

Files Restore

Integrated modern file copy for 500MB files

Flow for OneDrive

Intelligent Discovery for iOS

Fluent UI updates for Web

Intelligent Scan via photo

Improved Office File experience

Multi page scan from Mobile

IRM library sync support for Windows

New Authenticated Office 365 Home Page


New office desktop sharing experience (Windows)

In Development - 12

New Sharing Controls from Mac Finder

eDiscovery Compliance Boundaries

New Sharing Controls from Windows Explorer

FastTrack | Dropbox to OneDrive for Business Migration

Offline folders in OneDrive Mobile App (iOS)

File activity views on mobile, web

OneDrive - Per Group Sharing Controls

File/folder activities (OneDrive web only)

OneDrive Files on Demand – Preview via Windows Insider Builds

Full ITAR and Multi Geo support in mobile

OneDrive for Android - Support for on-premise files in SharePoint Server

Improved end user onboarding on Mobile

OneDrive for Business filename support improvements

Improved search and auto detection of image types in OneDrive

OneDrive for iOS - Drag and drop support

Integration of Sync client into Mac Office

OneDrive for iOS - File previewers

Multi-Geo Capabilities in Office 365

OneDrive for iOS - Files app integration

OneDrive for Business multi-geo and service level encryption support (private preview only)

OneDrive for iOS - UI updates and universal link support

OneDrive sync for IRM encrypted libraries

OneDrive integration with Microsoft Flow

Outlook for the web: Attach OneDrive Consumer Files

OneDrive Sync Engine End User Tutorial

Shared by me view (OneDrive web UI only)

Photo intelligence: Auto tagging and OCR


Secure external sharing

Cancelled - 0

Self service Migration tool kit


SharePoint home page in Office 365 - People Cards

Previously Released - 4

SharePoint web part: File viewer

Intelligent Discovery for Windows Phone

Simplified sharing from OneDrive for Business from the web

Office Lens: Multi page scan on Android

Updates to "Shared with me" view - external content

Outlook for Windows: Improvements to OneDrive attachment handling

Updates to Admin control for internal/ external sharing

US Government: New capabilities in Firstline/Kiosk license

Zip file support


Take Advantage of Collaboration Capabilities

So you can get an easy snapshot view of Microsoft vs competitors, they published a comparison chart  that highlights the shortcomings of Google Drive, Dropbox and Box compared with OneDrive for Business. Office app integration and collaboration capabilities being the focus.


I use Office 365 daily, for business and personal use. The ability to easily navigate between my different apps and find the content I’ve worked with recently on all my devices and operating systems adds to my productivity and overall efficiency. With Office 365 on my iPhone (iOS), Samsung (Android), Windows Surface (Windows) and MacBook (macOS) working has become seamless and transparent.

I recommend Office 365 to my clients (and friends), because I truly believe in Microsoft’s commitment to deliver products that enables users and supports companies to become digital first businesses.

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Tracy van der Schyff

Tracy is a Microsoft MVP and an energetic, hyperactive adrenaline junkie who sees challenges and issues as opportunities and thrives on improving processes, environments and the general quality of life. Her broad knowledge about IT and Business gives her the ability to communicate on both levels and convey meaningful requirements and narrow the (ever present) gap between the two.

Written By: Tracy van der Schyff