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It’s no Xbox One, but Microsoft is giving away a pretty nifty early Christmas present: free cloud storage.

In a move that’s great news for anyone plugged into its ecosystem, Microsoft is emailing Windows Phone users with offers of 20GB of free SkyDrive space.

The move is, of course, an extremely smart, obvious one for Microsoft, which is leveraging two of its biggest assets to not only draw in new customers but also to keep the ones it already has. (The company already gives Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 owners 200GB of SkyDrive space.)

skydrive-windows-phone

Unfortunately, the offer, which expires in January, only has a shelf life of a year, after which any unused space will disappear. That’s why the deal won’t end up costing Microsoft too much money in the end. While some customers might end up using up the entire 20GB (and paying for it afterwards), the vast majority will leave the bulk of it unused.

The giveaway is not a new strategy by any stretch — Dropbox, Box, and Google do it too — but it does show that Microsoft is willing to do what it takes to attract more users to its services and ecosystem.

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