Amazon shuts down unlimited cloud storage plan

Amazon has told customers it will no longer offer an unlimited cloud storage plan – although Prime members will continue to benefit from the service.

In an updated FAQ page, the company confirmed new customers will have the choice of 100 GB for $11.99 and 1 TB for $59.99, with those wishing for more able to go up to 30 TB at an additional $59.99 per terabyte. Any customer who signs up for storage with Amazon will automatically get 5 GB for free.

“Current customers will keep their existing unlimited storage plan through its expiration date,” Amazon explains. “At the end of their existing subscription, customers with auto-renew turned on and 1 TB or less of data stored will be renewed into the 1 TB plan for $59.99 per year.”

This is not the first time a vendor has cut ties on its all you can eat plans. In 2015 Microsoft turned off its unlimited OneDrive option for Office 365 customers, arguing some users took advantage to store ‘entire movie collections and DVR recordings’ with a 75 TB haul in the most extreme cases. “Instead of focusing on extreme backup scenarios, we want to remain focused on delivering high value productivity and collaboration experiences that benefit the majority of OneDrive users,” the company wrote at the time.

No information of such miscreants on Amazon’s side here, but the move to keep unlimited photo storage – the video production and photography industry was particularly critical of Microsoft’s shutdown in 2015 – is an interesting one. As a TechCrunch report points out, pictures have data which can potentially be extracted through machine learning technologies, making them valuable points for Amazon.

Amazon has been particularly busy of late; the company announced Greengrass, which aims to combine the power of their cloud and on-premise devices, earlier this week, as well as launching the AWS IoT Button, a Wi-Fi device which enables developers to get started with a variety of services without device-specific code, in Europe.