Microsoft to make OneDrive for Business available as a standalone cloud-storage service

Summary:Microsoft's renamed cloud storage for business offering, OneDrive for Business, will be available for purchase starting April 1 and available as a standalone offering for the first time.

A month after going public with details about its renamed and updated consumer OneDrive cloud-storage service , Microsoft is providing new pricing and licensing details about its business complement, OneDrive for Business.

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Formerly known as SkyDrive Pro, the new OneDrive for Business service provides file sync, share, collaboration and storage. Microsoft announced the new pricing and licensing details for OneDrive for Business during the company's SharePoint 2014 conference on March 3.

OneDrive for Business will continue to be available both as part of a number of existing Office 365 plans, as well as for purchase as a standalone service -- something that wasn't the case with SkyDrive Pro. Starting April 1, 2014, OneDrive for Business (which includes support for the free Office Online apps) will be available for purchases. The standalone version will provide business users with 25 GB of storage per employee, with an option to purchase additional storage, offline sync and access from multiple devices.

Microsoft is offering OneDrive for Business for a limited time (April 1 through September 2014) at a $2.50 per user per month for all licensing agreements and programs. That's a 50 percent discount from the regular price. For customers with Office with Software Assurance or who have the high-end Office 365 ProPlus version, Microsoft is offering the standalone OneDrive for Business for $1.50 per user per month under its Open, Enterprise Agreement and new Microsoft Products and Services Agreement (MPSA) volume plans.

Existing Office 365 SkyDrive Pro users don't have to do anything to get OneDrive for Business; the new name and capabilities will be provided automatically. Those using SharePoint Server 2013 on-premises can download the recently released SharePoint 2013 Service Pack 1 to simplify the configuration and integration with OneDrive for Business.

Microsoft officials commited to providing more new capabilities for OneDrive for Business throughout calendar 2014, including advanced auditing and reporting features; encryption at rest; data loss prevention (DLP); extensibility improvements; even higher storage limits, and more.

Topics: Cloud, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, IT Policies, Microsoft, Storage

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Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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