Yesterday, Amazon announced two new unlimited storage plans for the Amazon Cloud Drive to help it compete in the personal cloud storage market. While the offerings are okay, for Windows and Windows Phone users, there is likely a better deal to be had with OneDrive, Microsoft’s own cloud storage solution. The biggest problem for Windows Phone users is the lack of an app for Amazon Cloud Drive which can make uploading to these new unlimited services a challenge, especially on-the-go.
The two new unlimited offerings from Amazon include an Unlimited Photo Plan which is $11.99 per year. For this you can store an unlimited number of photos in the Amazon Cloud Drive service including photos that are already on your PC. Those can be uploaded via the Amazon Cloud Drive app. It should be noted that if you are an Amazon Prime customer ($99.99 per year) you already have this Unlimited Photo Plan as part of your subscription. Prime customers also have an additional 5GB of storage for free.
The second plan is truly unlimited. The Unlimited Everything Plan is $59.99 per year and it allows you to store an unlimited amount of photos, videos, files, documents, music and movies in the service.
Compared to OneDrive however, the Amazon Cloud Drive unlimited offerings will leave some wanting more. It is true that Microsoft does not have a plan that competes with these Amazon offerings off-the-shelf but they do have the killer trick that Amazon doesn’t: Office 365. If you subscribe to Office 365 Personal, it is $69.99 per year. It is $10 more than the Amazon unlimited plan but you have a full working copy of Office on your PC or Mac. Bump that up to Office 365 Home at $99.99 and you have Office on up to 5 PCs or Macs. With that Office 365 subscription you get unlimited storage of everything in OneDrive and on the Home edition, each member of your family you add to the subscription get their own unlimited storage. With the Amazon Cloud Drive plans, if I and my wife wanted to both have unlimited storage, it would be $119.98, $20 more than if I do an Office 365 Home subscription.
Perhaps a bigger issue for some will be the lack of apps for Amazon Cloud Drive. Currently they only offer a Cloud Drive app for Android and iOS but not for Windows Phone. They do have a Windows desktop app. OneDrive on the other hand has apps for everything: Mac, PC, Android, iOS, Windows, Windows Phone and yes, even Amazon Fire. Plus with OneDrive you get automatic photo backup from all your devices without having to initiate the process yourself. This in my mind makes OneDrive a far better value and far friendlier user experience no matter what device you happen to pick up.
You can get more information about the new Amazon Cloud Drive unlimited plans on their site.