Microsoft Corporation has a Christmas present for users of its Windows Phone 8 — 20 GB of extra storage on SkyDrive. That is on top of the standard free space provided upon purchase of 7 GB. ‘Tis the season of giving, after all, and it looks as if Microsoft has gotten into the spirit with its new offer, though there are a few catches.
Microsoft has already sent out emails to current users of the Windows Phone 8 to let them know about this offer of free storage on SkyDrive. Only Windows Phone 8 smartphones qualify for this offer. Also, only Windows Phone users who received the email could then claim the 20 GB of free storage.
Another catch is that the free 20 GB of SkyDrive storage is offered for a limited time — just until January 2014. Therefore, it’s best to activate the offer as soon as you are sent the email from Microsoft. Only people who sign up for the offer by January 31 are eligible to receive the 20 GB of free SkyDrive storage.
Yet another catch is that the offer of the 20 GB of free SkyDrive storage won’t last forever. The email from Microsoft says that the offer of 20 GB of free storage will only last for one year. After that, it’s the guess of analysts that users of Windows Phones would then have their free storage space reverted back to just 7 GB. Possibly at that time, Windows Phone 8 users will get another email that lets them know how to either upgrade to another plan or to delete files that are above the 7 GB limit.
If you happen to be a Windows Phone user who also has an Office 365 subscription, you can have over 50 GB of free storage, according to an article in Morning News USA. Also, 200 GB of free storage available for 2 years is available to recent purchasers of Surface 2 or Surface Pro 2 devices.
Another option for users of the Windows Phones who would like extra storage is to pay $25 per year for a 50 GB upgrade in addition to the other free Cloud storage you are entitled to get from Microsoft.
SkyDrive has become an important part of Microsoft’s entire marketing plans. Offering the free 20 GB storage, Microsoft likely feels, will get consumers hooked and provide them with a reason to continue using their Cloud storage services.
What will Windows Phone 8 users likely use the extra 20 GB of storage for?
What consumers are likely to use the extra storage space for will vary from person to person, but one popular use will be to store full-resolution backups of the camera photos taken by your Windows Phone. Such photos can take up a lot of storage space, especially smartphones such as the 41-megapixel Nokia Lumia 1020.
Unfortunately, the offer by the Microsoft Corporation of 20 GB of free storage is not available to Windows Phone 7 users. Still, the offer will be a very welcome Christmas gift to all Windows Phone 8 users. Though there are some catches to the offer, it goes to show you that not all mega-corporations act like Scrooge (before being visited by the three ghosts) at this time of the year.
Written by: Douglas Cobb