February 19, 2014
SkyDrive Becomes OneDrive As Microsoft Aims To Take On Dropbox And Google Drive
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Microsoft’s cloud-based SkyDrive is now the one – or more accurately OneDrive. Three weeks ago the Redmond software giant announced that it was rebranding its SkyDrive cloud storage service after it lost a trademark case against the UK-based British Sky Broadcasting Group last summer.
This week Microsoft officially rolled out the rebranded OneDrive. It is much more than a mere name change however, and the move has allowed Microsoft to introduce a range of new features, including improved video sharing as well as newly updated apps for Windows Phone as well as Android, iOS and Xbox.
“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 of OS Services at Microsoft via a statement. “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 anytime you need them.”
On Wednesday Microsoft announced that the first 100,000 customers who access their accounts after launch will receive an additional 100 GB of complimentary storage for one year. Microsoft is already offering the first 7GB of storage for free, while users can also receive up to five more gigabytes for referrals, and a further 3GB is offered to anyone utilizing the service’s camera backup feature.
These offerings could provide Microsoft with an edge over its rivals’ cloud-based solutions. Currently Apple only provides 5GB of free storage on its iCloud service, while Google offers 15GB free on Google Drive. The popular Dropbox service however only currently offers 2GB of storage to customers for free.
Jones also noted that OneDrive is a way to make backing up to the cloud easier.
“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to get all of your favorite stuff in one place—one place that is accessible via all of the devices you use every day, at home and at work,” Jones wrote on the official OneDrive blog. “Because let’s face it, until now, cloud storage services have been pretty hard to use, and the vast majority of us still have our stuff spread out everywhere. In fact, according to a recent poll (Online survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Microsoft Corp from December 19-31, 2013, among 801 adults ages 18 and older who have previously heard of cloud storage.), at least 77% of people who are familiar with the cloud still have content stored on a device that is not backed up elsewhere.”
This week Microsoft also renamed SkyDrive Pro, the corporate-grade online storage service that is tied to Office 365, to OneDrive for Business. It did not provide further details except to announce that it will reveal more about this service at the SharePoint Conference, which is scheduled for March 3-6 in Las Vegas.
The name change from SkyDrive to OneDrive is not the first time Microsoft has renamed one of its products or services. In August 2012 Microsoft changed the name for its tile-based design in Windows 8 and Windows Phone from “Metro” to “Modern UI Style.” Microsoft had reportedly faced a lawsuit from German retailer Metro AG.