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Microsoft Offers OneDrive for Business Switch Deal

Microsoft on Tuesday made a move against its online storage partners and competitors by rolling out a OneDrive for Business switch deal.

From Feb. 6 to June 30 of this year, Microsoft is offering its OneDrive for Business online storage and file sharing service free of charge to qualified users of Box, Dropbox or Google Drive "for the remaining term of their existing contract." The qualifications under the deal include making "a minimum 500 user commitment" and not being a current Office 365 or OneDrive for Business customer.

The deal is facilitated by Microsoft FastTrack, a partner program that helps with the initial consultations and planning for software migrations to Office 365 and other Microsoft Online Services.

Microsoft's announcement was notable for its full-on marketing attack on the Box, Dropbox and Google Drive online storage and collaboration offerings. A brochure (PDF) published by Microsoft includes a comparison chart showing their shortcomings compared with OneDrive for Business. Microsoft's main point seems to be that Box, Dropbox and Google Drive lack certain Office app collaboration capabilities.

Ironically, Microsoft's partnerships with Box, Dropbox and Google Drive typically have centered on adding Office app collaboration features to those storage and file sharing services.

Microsoft built REST-based APIs so that its online storage partners could add those Office Apps document collaboration capabilities. After an initial bumpy ride, competitors such as Box described Microsoft as being "partner-friendly." Last year, Microsoft Teams was made capable of integrating with third-party cloud storage and file sharing services from Box, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox and Google Drive.

Microsoft's announcement touted OneDrive for Business' progress against the competition, citing Gartner and Forrester reports, as well as some customer wins. OneDrive for Business is actually improved, too, with recent feature additions such as Files Restore, synchronization improvements and a new Sync Client.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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