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Microsoft makes OneDrive more useful

Good news if you store very (very) large files in the cloud: Microsoft (MSFT) is finally in the process of lifting file-size limits from its OneDrive service. That means you can upload files of virtually any size.

With cloud storage increasingly common, the price per megabyte (MB) has been in freefall. Google (GOOG) recently dropped its price for Google Drive by about half. You can now get 100 gigabytes (GB) of storage for $1.99/month (down from $5/month) and 1 terabyte (TB) for $9.99/month, a hefty drop from $50/month.

Dropbox matched Google's pricing, with a 1-TB plan for $10/month as well. Microsoft, in turn, has aggressively priced its OneDrive for Business plan, with 1 TB currently selling for a scant $2.50/month. And if you're an Office 365 user, you get that terabyte for "free," included with a license to Office.

All of that space is of little use, though, if a cloud service imposes file-size limitations that keep you from working with large files. This was a common problem among early cloud users as arbitrarily small caps were more of a rule than an exception.

When OneDrive debuted (called SkyDrive at the time), for example, Microsoft gave away a generous 25 GB of storage space to free accounts, but simultaneously imposed claustrophobic file size limits, probably to deter users from using the service to store or stream music and video files.

Finally, that limitation is gone. Microsoft told The Next Web it was slowly rolling out the update, though not all customers will have the ability to upload large files right away. (Microsoft says a post about the change is forthcoming on the OneDrive blog, but it hasn't appeared yet.)

The change puts OneDrive in the class of cloud storage services that offer a lot of storage for free with essentially no file-size cap to get in the way. Along with OneDrive, Google has no practical file-size limit (according to Google's online help, you have to keep files under 5 TB). Likewise, there's no file-size limit at all for Dropbox files that are uploaded via desktop or mobile applications, but the Web interface tops out uploads at 10 GB.

In comparison, some other popular cloud services still have traditional limitations. Cubby limits you to the same 2-GB cap that Microsoft just abandoned. But Box is one of the most restrictive, topping out at a scant 250 MB for free accounts. It then steps up to 2 GB and 5 GB, depending upon the type of subscription.

Photo courtesy of Microsoft.