20th February 2014
Microsoft has announced the launch of OneDrive, its rebranded, spruced up replacement for SkyDrive. The company was required to change the name of SkyDrive following a trademark dispute in which the UK High Court ruled that Microsoft had infringed upon BSkyB’s right to the “Sky” trademark.
Microsoft chose not to appeal the ruling and instead agreed with Sky that a reasonable period of time could be taken to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand. The OneDrive name was subsequently announced in January this year and rumours have since circulated about what changes might be included in the rebranded platform.
The OneDrive platform allows users to store photos, videos and documents in the cloud so that they are easily accessible from anywhere on any device. New features include improved video sharing and newly updated apps for Windows Phone, iOS, Android and Xbox. Users will still benefit from the online versions of Microsoft’s Office programmes that were available with SkyDrive.
OneDrive offers 7 GB of free storage space with the option of purchasing extra storage in in 50GB, 100GB and 200GB increments. Users can also unlock 3 GB of extra space for free by activating the auto-backup feature for photos on their Windows Mobile, iOS or Android device. A further 5 GB of free space can be acquired by successfully referring friends to the platform, with users accruing 500 MB for each referral.
“When someone picks up their phone, tablet or any other device, they just want all of their favorite photos and the documents they need at their fingertips – they don’t want to have to hunt for them,” said Chris Jones, corporate vice president, OS Services, Microsoft. “That’s the lens we are taking with OneDrive. We’re building it right into all of the latest Microsoft devices and services – from Xbox to Windows Phone and Windows 8.1 to Office – but we’re also making sure it’s available on the Web and across all other platforms including iOS and Android, so your photos, videos and files are all available any time you need them.”
The launch of OneDrive marks a milestone for Microsoft. The appointment of Satya Nadella as its new CEO reinforces its commitment to providing a unified experience across devices underpinned by it cloud services. The resolution of the SkyDrive saga brings to an end a messy episode of the previous era and gives Microsoft a chance to relaunch itself in the cloud space, with a view to making up ground on competitors Apple, DropBox, Google and Amazon.
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