back to article University chops students' Microsoft 365 storage to 20GB

Microsoft's decision to cut the storage in its Microsoft 365 Education line is having some real-world consequences, with a Canadian university imposing draconian measures partly in response to the restrictions. Photo of McGill University front pathway with lots of students on sunny fall autumn day Photo of McGill University …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Cloud - someone else's computer, and you dance to their tune...

    Most of that 'dark' data though could be migrated to tape archive and consume no power, just with a 15 min or so wait if it is ever needed and has to be brought back to network access. Some storage systems allow that to happen automatically based on rules for last access times, etc, but presumably MS can't/won't do that, either due to stupid file indexing refreshing access, or since getting big users to pay more is a better route, and damn the environment!

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      They have slow access storage in Azure, and while I'm not sure if it's implemented with tape or not, it has the profile you describe and there are plenty of ways to move data into and out of it automatically. It is not used for OneDrive because OneDrive is used by lots of people who don't know what they're doing. You can't expect the average student, individual purchaser, or teacher to understand what automatic moving of data between access tiers does or why the prices keep going down but they have to wait longer and longer to get their files back. If they need an old file and they don't know that it's been automatically moved to the archive tier, they're unlikely to be happy with the message asking for their priority which determines how many hours (1-15 depending on priority) it will take before they get access again.

      It wouldn't be very hard for the admins to use this system and make their own storage system if they want to host it on Microsoft infrastructure, or to build one of their own. There are a lot of reasons for them to do that when they're holding lots of research data and want to do so cheaply.

    2. herman Silver badge
      Angel

      Lecce

      All those cloudy electrons should be recycled.

  2. LogicGate Silver badge

    Archived data is only unused until it is needed.

    Data does not achieve worth through read- and write-cycles. Microsoft may not understand this, but there are a lot of other things that Microsof does not appear to understand as well.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      True dat. I have >1TB of data that is generally hanging around on my system and numerous backups. Only a tiny fraction of that is generally accessed on a year-to-year basis, and it keeps on growing. However, when I really need to read those AGM minutes from 1996 to definitively demonstrate some legal point relating to a precedent that was set regarding the responsibilities of the company directors (just as an entirely random example...), it's indispensable. (Not to mention all those photos from scanned negatives I rarely look at dating back to the 1950s and beyond: I might not look at them often, but I never want to throw them away.)

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        at some point a dedicated external hard drive (and maybe at least 1 extra for backup) and/or a filing cabinet drawer of burnable dieks makes more sense

    2. hitmouse

      Individual storage for stufent accounts is quite a different thing to the storage actually needed for teaching and research.

      Students mismanage data to about the same degree as most academics, and it's frankly dangerous to have it available on unmanaged devices.

      20GB is more than adequate for .most students and prevents the inevitable use of it for storing pirated media and backups of their personal files.

      1. donk1

        The problem is that now we have PERSONAL computing and cloud storage so the concept of DEPARTMENTAL and INSTITUTIONAL storage is gone.

        Different levels of data storage is forgotten, Important data should be pushed up the heirarchy and labelled so future academics/students can find it for future research.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          And we ever had that working like clockwork? We moved from "the research data is in those boxes in the corner of the office, or maybe the ones that got moved to a storage shed when the corner was filling up" to "the files are probably on one of these servers that everyone has an account on but there's no organized backup" to "they could be on the servers with backups but maybe the researchers didn't upload them because they stored them on their personal computers" to "they could be in one of the university-provided data storage systems but people have been using OneDrive instead". It's not great now, but it's not like we ever had perfection before.

          Archiving is hard, and there are relatively few university archivists for the stuff being generated right now.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        "20GB is more than adequate for .most students "

        and a university can require a basic computing course and/or competency test [and allow challenging the course] to ensure that students have adequate skills and knowledge to make their own backups and limit the amount of unnecessary cloud data.

        Although, In My Bombastic Opinion, trying to GUILT students (instead of appealing to intellect) by saying things like "carbon footprint" instead of "minimize costs so that your tuition and fees aren't increased" is at least a *bit* nauseating... I mean, COME ON what DO they teach in these schools? "Touchty Feely 101" and "Feelings over Thinking Seminar"?

  3. Necrohamster Silver badge
    Trollface

    OneDriving Me Up The Wall

    "No one will need more than 637KB of memory for a personal computer. 640KB ought to be enough for anybody,"

    - Bill Gates (allegedly)

    In the meantime, affected users have taken to social media to express their displeasure at the news. One noted that "the implications for research integrity are massive" thanks to retention requirements for research data that can't simply be stashed on a personal drive due, in part, to the aforementioned security risks.

    Research students with retention requirements make up a very small percentage of college students, so I'm going to be like Bill and say the vast majority of students won't be affected by a 20GB limit on their OneDrive.

    "Microsoft’s storage reduction is driven by security risks associated with large amounts of potentially forgotten confidential or sensitive information and data."

    This is nonsense as a student's account is terminated after final exams or before graduation. If McGill University isn't doing this, they need to hire some new admins. There simply isn't a mountain of forgotten sensitive data out there

    1. VicMortimer Silver badge

      Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

      "This is nonsense as a student's account is terminated after final exams or before graduation."

      Most schools now let former students keep their accounts for life. There's no reason not to.

      1. sev.monster

        Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

        "If McGill University isn't doing this, they need to hire some new admins."

        And unfortunately it is not a decision often made by "admins" that one can simply replace to somehow fix this mentality, it's the upper bureaucracy.

        The world ain't so simple.

      2. grizzo

        Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

        Really? My uni deletes every account of former students 6 months after they've left, I assummed it was common practice.

        1. Mark #255

          Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

          I promise I'm not trying to start a "Four Yorkshiremen" sketch...

          I worked for a university a few years ago, and erroneously got put on a "this person has left, begin $LIST_OF_IT_ACTIONS" list at one point.

          Fortunately(!), the first of these actions was to tell me I had 48 hours to save any emails I wanted to since that was how long I had before BIG RED BUTTON time.

          Afterwards, they said that part of it was ensuring that foo@[uni].ac.uk addresses weren't abused by folk pretending to be still academic-adjacent.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

            I had a job *administering* the big red button system, and it was appalling how frequently a terminator order came through with zero evidence that it was incorrect, and the ones I caught only happened due to a missing contact address to send a courier to reclaim equipment.

      3. Necrohamster Silver badge

        Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

        They allow email to be kept as an alumnus privilege, sometimes, but not storage.

        Can you point me to a university that states they give free storage for life?

      4. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

        Not if they pay costs per user or might end up paying to store terabytes of data because hey, free massive cloud drive, don't mind if I do. My university kept several things around for me, but it's all very cheap things. I've still got an account on the computer science systems, well maybe because they reset passwords every six months and I haven't used mine in a couple years at least, but they cut my disk quota quite small and disabled it for the big research machines.

      5. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

        Most schools now let former students keep their accounts for life. There's no reason not to.

        How about cost of storage and backups? Seems to me there should be a monthly fee associated with keeping an account...

      6. Handlebars

        Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

        Who is paying?

    2. donk1

      Re: OneDriving Me Up The Wall

      Who says they still have admins? "Put it in the cloud and you do not need admins you can do it yourself"

      The students get a OneDrive and bypass admin oversite then you get this type of mess.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Important data should be stored on your own drives, not on somebody else's.

    And claiming there's more of a "security risk" keeping data on local disk instead of somebody else's disk is absolutely idiotic. I'm thinking a 'researcher' needs their degree revoked.

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      "claiming there's more of a "security risk" keeping data on local disk"

      Depends whose security and what kind of security we're considering. Maybe the M$ answer to these questions is really "the security of our revenue stream".

    2. sev.monster

      This could be legitimate as Microsoft has powerful retention, governance, access control, loss prevention, and other such data features. Not saying you can't implement this in a local netwotk (you can) but the buy-in for these features is real and they do work.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Very little of that exists for OneDrive though.

        It's a Dropbox competitor, leveraging MS's dominance in OS and Office software market to get into another.

        1. sev.monster

          Uh, no, it's all for OneDrive (for Business) which is built on SharePoint.

          If you're talking about personal OneDrive, of course that doesn't exist, it's a completely separate product, and is not affected by these Microsoft 365 changes; 365 is also licensed and administrated separately from personal OneDrive.

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Maybe but most of the data in Student home folders and OneDrives is personal with a large amount consisting of pictures, videos and ripped DVDs.

      I say this as someone who spent 10 years managing this.

      The minority will keep some relevant material in OneDrive, mostly because it can be accessed across devices.

      Whether it is on your own disks or a cloud drive there will not be any backup unless something has been implemented.

      In terms of cloud drives that is not that common, even now.

  5. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

    How the hell do they know? Even if they monitor file accesses, who's to say a file that hasn't been accessed for a while is not some essential archive that could be needed in emergency (e.g. the master incident response plan)?

    1. Tron Silver badge

      Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

      quote: How the hell do they know?

      They don't. It's BS. Off the shelf justifications: Saving the planet, national security. They just want to reduce the freebies.

      Corporates: Amateur evil. Governments: Professional evil.

      That said, 20Gb should be enough for most students (excluding movie rips and porn), and most unis will close accounts when they go. Plus any sensible researcher will keep a few backup drives with their stuff on. Only idiots trust their data to Uni servers or the cloud.

      1. Timop

        Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

        "we will be decreasing storage quotas significantly bit later on, please find out all imaginable reasons for it that sound even remotely sensible to help PR department"

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

      Whilst that is probably true, the moment any of it gets purged is just one second AFTER a warrant is issued for said data. The person doing the deleting is now guilty of Obstruction Of Justice.

      So all the old crud gets kept for ever... just in case.

      1. hitmouse

        Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

        The actual valuable research data with lifespan protection controls is supposed to be kept in managed research storage, not students personal accounts.

        If a warrant's coming, then it's for leaking data to unauthorised people.

        1. donk1

          Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

          But with the cloud people can bypass any controls so how does that work?

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

            It doesn't, but fortunately, you can't bypass any controls you want with the cloud. The admins can put their important data storage on cloud-managed disks, their own managed disks, or a combination thereof and have the same controls or lack of controls.

      2. HereIAmJH

        Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

        It would probably be a subpoena rather than a warrant. And it would go to the administrators of the system rather than the users. It would state specific items that are to be produced, and possibly a preservation order as well. A preservation order would require protecting the data so that it couldn't be accidentally, or maliciously, deleted, and would be the responsibility of the adminstrators.

        So unless it's in the interest of the administrator, or simple incompetence, data being purged after a legal demand is small. But yes, if they were able to prove that data was deleted rather than producing it, you could be charged.

        'Old crud' gets kept around out of simple laziness. Businesses define specific retention policies, based on legal requirements, so that data that is no longer needed gets deleted. Their legal counsel will explain to them that old data is not an asset, it is a liability.

    3. donk1

      Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

      They do not. I once asked a Power Bi Personal from Microsoft how do you know your changes will not break an important PRODUCTION report?

      Do you know which reports are production vs test vs experimental and test ALL PRODUCTION reports will not break before you make a change?

      Do clients mark which reports are PRODUCTION?

      Answer no. i.e. we do not care. So that is how they save money, no testing!

      Once saw someone at a SQL Saturday conference built a whole 1hr talk around a new Power Bi Feature.

      They had tested the night before, on the day they got to the screen and...it had gone, turned off.

      They had to end their 1hr talk after 10 minutes and look like an idiot, cue all of us walking out into the hallway and hanging around for 50 minutes in the conference place with of course no refreshments and nothing to do!

      If you are doing say the Facebook IPO and in that 'critical hour' something in the cloud disappears that you rely on how does that work and you not get sued for millions?

      Company IT have change freezes the cloud vendors do not, just asking for trouble and if you are in a large org potentially getting sued for millions.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: "over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose"

        > it had gone, turned off.

        This five words of you, they are the perfect representation of "cloud". 'cause it all goes up in one.

  6. Whiskers

    But shepherding and herding other people's data turns out to be so ... boring ...

  7. grizzo

    > "Stored files that are no longer in use, have an impact on our carbon footprint with over half of all data stored by organizations not serving a useful purpose."

    True, but I reckon that once a student leaves university their account and files get deleted after some kind of grace period.

    Are they implying that giving 1TB of data to each permanent scholar is too taxing in the long run?

    1. sev.monster

      Some universities grant student account access "forever" or some similar diminution. This pool of students may include applicants, not just enrolled or even accepted students. Regardless of whether or not this is the right thing to do, it certainly happens a lot.

      So considering thousands of students register to every major university every semester, you can see how quickly this escalates into the ZB.

      Source: I have worked at multiple universities and they all have had policies like this, with student accounts in the tens or hundreds of thousands.

      1. grizzo

        Uh, I see. My uni (University of Padua in Italy) deletes every former student's account six months after they've left.

        This might explain why the associated Office 365 account comes with 1TB of space instead of 100GB.

        1. sev.monster

          1TB is the current default. They haven't enforced the storage changes for everyone yet. Either Padua isn't taking steps to mitigate this eventual change, or their data use is not significant enough to worry the users and they will eat the cost when the quotas are lowered. It has nothing to do with how they manage their accounts, these storage changes will affect all tenants.

      2. sev.monster

        Not sure why I'm getting downvoted when my point is that "yeah this thing actually happens sometimes"

        I sure don't think it's good that universities do this, but it is simply a fact that many do.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      "Are they implying that giving 1TB of data to each permanent scholar is too taxing in the long run?"

      From their Wikipedia page, it would appear they have about forty six thousand people in the categories of staff and current students. So their theoretical data usage if each of them had a 1 TB cap is 46 PB. Of course, there are many who will not use that cap, but you have to budget for some people deciding that it's kind of handy to have such a big drive and start to use it. If you were hosting this on your own infrastructure, it would be expensive to provide petabytes of hot storage, and it's not cheap when outsourcing that to Microsoft either. So yes, it quite easily could prove too taxing. A 20 GB cap means that they only have about one petabyte among them, which is probably quite expensive as it is.

      They have the option to start people with a low cap of 20 GB, then increase it when needed. Researchers who want to store a lot of research data in OneDrive could apply to have a higher cap, which gives the university IT staff an opportunity to find something better than OneDrive to store important data in this case. Many students do not have an academic requirement for more storage than that, so they can handle the exceptions differently without promising a lot more storage than they want to pay for.

  8. gryphon

    Well McGill have ~40,000 students and 5000 staff according to Wikipedia.

    100TB / 20GB per user = 5000 users

    MS cost for additional storage = $300 per TB per month so they'll already be forking out a lot of extra money per month just to maintain 20GB per user.

  9. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Well gosh, who'd have guessed?

    When MS started offering MS Outlook365 for free to universities they promised that they wouldn't charge

    Yeah right

    1. Necrohamster Silver badge

      Re: Well gosh, who'd have guessed?

      A1 was free for an unlimited number of individual users last time I looked

      A3 was $2.50 per month per student and $3.50(?) per month per staff member

      Can't remember what A5 cost...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    100TB for free is free. Can't moan really to have to pay beyond that. It's still a ~£300 / user / a year platform for almost nothing. And at least it's not Google Crapps - at least you will likely actually be using the experience in your future career.

    1. sev.monster

      You absolutely can moan when they are essentially picking yout pockets where they promised up and down they wouldn't. Just like VMware prices being jacked 300% or more when Broadcom promised there would be no major changes, corporations' promises are worthless, and contract renewals change on a whim.

  11. This post has been deleted by its author

  12. Bebu Silver badge
    Windows

    Not heard of hierarchical data storage?

    Was a thing even in the 1990s if not a lot earlier.

    Basically LRU files migrated to ever slower, cheaper storage until a friendly tape robot (Marvin?) placed the tape containing your unloved files and its fellow travellers in a storage facility. Of course retrieval times were going to be glacial. :)

    I certainly advocate data management awareness and policies in academia as I know from bitter experience the sheer quantity of crud (old core files, compiler object files (.o) and binaries for long gone architectures, plus the usual downloaded movie files etc etc) found in user's home directories and project areas. Still very difficult to get across the difference between backup and archive.

    Some data such as observational data can be irreproducible and should be stored forever even though it might not have been accessed for decades. There are enough stories about researchers having trouble reading 1/2 inch open reel tapes* to recover decades old data for reprocessing in the light of newer techniques and theories to validate this assertion.

    Experimental data while hopefully reproducible might well have originally been from extremely costly experiments to perform and remain so. In this case the data has a dollar value which would certainly exceed the archival costs.

    Data generated from computer models while eminently reproducible might take weeks or months but that would decrease as technology advances. Still CPU-Core-hours costs in energy, cost of hardware etc (TCO) which ultimately can be rendered in dollars and assessed against storage costs.

    Not that any of this has anything to do with Microsoft's penny pinching shenanigans. Seems to me that these monstrous US tech companies are really trying to kneecap tertiary education and research in their own nation. Not something the PRC for all its myriad faults is foolish enough to permit there.

    * And a variety of defunct media types (zip drives, magnetoptical drives, 8" floppies, tape technologies and formats etc) which are largely a lost cause. Even reading a scsi-3 disk with from an old linux host with ext2 file systems can be near impossible. "You can't get the wood you know." (Henry Crun)

  13. thondwe

    Education licence covers all schools and universities,

    MS365 A3/A5 licences cover all age groups for schools and Universities. Uni's clearly have different reqiurements, but are treated like primary and secondary schools - it's a PITA always - Uni's miss out because some features are excluded for under 18s other things are foisted on us because that's how MS want a School to operate.

    BTW, Storage licencing - basically a free lump + a per STAFF quota. So 5000 staff if licenced for A3 - gets 100TB + 50GB * 5000 = 350TB, or A5 - 100TB + 100GB * 5000 - so 600TB to cover pretty much all of MS365 storage. After that it's more ££££ for additional storage - yes be nice to do hierarchical storage into cheaper Azure etc options - but no tools to do that nicely at present :(

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Education licence covers all schools and universities,

      Just to clarify the MS storage calculation:

      A tenant gets 100TB for free.

      For every paid A3 or A5 license you get more storage quota. BUT, all the free licenses (Student, Alumni, A1) all count AGAINST your storage usage.

      You can run an education Office 365 tenancy with no paid licenses, in which case you'll get just 100TB of storage for everything.

  14. Lazlo Woodbine

    Storage need expands to fill the space available

    A couple of years back I was working in a boarding school, some of our kids managed to fill the 1TB OneDrive storage with whatever kids fill storage with, as a department we decided not to look too closely at their files.

    It wasn't a problem until the school leadership and Governors decided we needed a robust backup stratergy, so we purchased sufficient storage at another cloud vendor and proceded to copy the data across. A fortnight later the backup was still running, and I don't think it had actually finished when I left at the end of the month...

  15. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    20GB?

    When I was at Uni we had 100KB storage for each engineering student's project. Fortunately, each year the computer centre allocated 200 new accounts for that year's intake, but there were rarely more than 160 new students so the last 30-40 were unused. Since they conveniently used a simple algorithm-generated initial password, it wasn't difficult to grab a few spare accounts to store games, etc. in. Having more than 3 was considered to be greedy, though :-)

    1. PRR Silver badge

      Re: 20GB?

      > When I was at Uni we had 100KB storage

      I remember those days. Also begging for more. (As Staff.) Eventually plateaued at 10MEG and lived in that for a decade. (Why I have no historic emails.)

      This is not a McGill thing. As 'Retiree' I got the same memo from my (former) university. 30GB; which seems ample to an old 10Meg guy but..... ah, rant omitted.

      "Due to the changes, storage for.... will be limited to 30 gigabytes (GB) starting on June 18, 2024. The vast majority of...accounts will not be impacted by this change. About 98% of ....accounts have storage falling below these new limits."

      Get off my lawn!

    2. K.o.R
      Devil

      Re: 20GB?

      "Please can I have more storage?"

      "Okay" >clickety< "You now have 4MB free."

      "So I have 8MB total?"

      "No, you have 4MB total."

      "Wait wha—" >hangs up<

    3. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: 20GB?

      We had some quotas on our Unix accounts, but that was only based on the files in your name AND in your homedir. So if a friend let you store your files in their homedir, that would impact neither's quota.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: 20GB?

        And if enough people figured that out, the admins would notice and stop you from doing it. Our quotas were just on the size of the home directory. I wouldn't be surprised that something along the following lines occurred:

        Helpdesk: We found twenty students who were each using close to the 1 TB cap for personal files.

        Admin: 20 TB. Wait a minute, that's 20% of the cap before we start paying more. For 0.05% of students. What would happen if 10% of them did that? [calculations] Uh-oh.

  16. 43300 Silver badge

    The article mentions A1 licenses - those are the bottom tier and would typically be used for school kids and undergraduates (and not all of them, necessarily). I would expect staff and postgrad students / researchers to have at least A3 and in some cases A5 licenses. Do the restrictions apply to them as well? Not clear from the article.

    If it's just restricting the space provided to school kids and undergraduates, I don't really see the problem in most cases - those on courses which require more would no doubt be provided with it (e.g. video production courses and the like, which would need more).

  17. Sparkus

    If McGills reasons/rationale are being reported accurately...

    there are so many errors in that reasoning that it borders on sloppy, deliberate lies cooked up by someone who has other agendas.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: If McGills reasons/rationale are being reported accurately...

      I agree there. I think it's mostly about managing the storage costs because they realized that promising petabytes of storage was going to get expensive and probably already was for researchers who threw lots of uncompressed raw data into OneDrive instead of something suited to it. I doubt there was much discussion about the electricity usage involved, even though it is technically true. Maybe they thought students would accept an environmental reason more than a budgetary one, because most students wouldn't understand what the costs of storage really are at scale.

  18. CatWithChainsaw
    Coffee/keyboard

    Muh Environment

    Massive telemetry, cloud storage, training AI, and planned obsolescence. And why did humanity seem to collectively decide that everyone was entitled to make a hundred useless tiktok videos every day. Think of the storage space freed up if we purged that!

  19. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge
    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Unleash the BOFH

      if the BOFH were involved, a system crash would accidentally delete all student OneDrive data, and would involve a Halon dump and some unusual spark patterns on the inside of the cabinet. The manufacturer and contractor that installed it would be blamed, and no evidence refuting the BOFH's claims would exist, giving them no reason NOT to believe it.

      Then to save space and prevent further incidents, a backup would be loaded, but only the newest and/or most recently accessed 20GB of data for each student account. Fortunately, that backup was made minutes before the crash...

  20. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Joke

    Learn how to work around massive amounts of storage ...

    You can hear about the solution on Youtube ... search for Slim Dusty singing "You've Got To Drink The Froth To Get The Beer"

    That's the joke - but seriously we all need to be prepared for minimal storage to keep everything always working for us.

  21. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Ch-ch-ch-changes

    It aint about the environment. It ain't about data security. It's about the money. Microsoft wants more, McGill wants to spend less.

  22. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    The actually important information is in the article!

    Are the students informed a month or two month ahead? And the answer is a big YES!

    Richard Speed did take over the "May 31st 2024" time limit mentioned TWICE right at the beginning of the announcement. So they are informed far far ahead of time. As long as they are allowed to use their own USB storage there is simply no problem at all. Since all students will act in time and take their personal backup serious, as we all know, not one will experience any data loss.

    1. yetanotheraoc Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: The actually important information is in the article!

      "all students will act in time"

      Microsoft will need to design some new spinning-circles to entertain the vast majority of students who think "early start" means 1:00 PM on the fateful day.

      Beer icon because May 31 is a Friday.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: The actually important information is in the article!

        Here, in this forum, with the weekly who-me and on-call, especially with the additional (solder) stories told in the comments of those two, I REALLY expect EVERYONE to know how much irony and sarcasm is in those "all students will act in time" words of mine.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: The actually important information is in the article!

        the animated spinny circle is hypnotic, part of their mind control... sorta like the Hypno Toad.

        (heh)

        actually would be fun to replace that with fingers tapping, a pencil between nose and upper lip, or thumbs twiddling

        1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

          Re: The actually important information is in the article!

          > fun to replace that with fingers tapping

          Since Windows 95: Use Control Panel (Windows 8.x or higher use run, control.exe for classic control panel). Then mouse properties. Then Pointers. There click the "busy circle" icon on the list. Lower right: Browse. In case of Windows 9x to WinXP the tapping finger is "hand.ani". So if you have a Win9x or WInNT or WinXP or Win2003 CD grab it, get those cursors out (if you know how to handle expand.exe), or copy them from your old machines with one of those newfangled modern 5 ¼ 360 KB disk drives. It is all in C:\windows\Cursors (or C:\Winnt\Cursors) since about 1995 - not changed.

          You can even use the "apply my settings to logon screen" to have it at startup, though THAT procedure changed so many times you better Qwant for it.

  23. navarac Silver badge

    AI

    Because Microsoft needs the space for AI - it makes more money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: AI

      plus they've probably finished training their AI models on existing user data so want to clear space for new stuff - johnny 5 "need input"

  24. MooJohn

    Google Workspace for Education established the same 100 TB limit one year ago. MS is just following suit.

  25. Tim99 Silver badge

    The Empire Strikes Back

    Darth VaderNadella-McGill: "I Am Altering the Deal, Pray I Don’t Alter It Any Further."

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I retired after 30 years as an academic, I had accumulated just over 6GB of data. Any student who gets to 20GB within four years is doing, or being asked to do, something wrong.

    1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

      What is your field? As "teaching" sounds plausible, but if you do research you accumulated more data for sure. However, research and, I bet, quite some of your teaching data is not "your" data. It is the data of the research project or the shared teaching data and not stored on your personal space. How much, if you could guess, is your personal data + the teaching or research data you accumulated?

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