Like New Amsterdam and Constantinople, Microsoft’s cloud based storage service now has a new name. Much like these cities, Microsoft was forced to change the name after losing a battle. In June of last year, Microsoft was forced to settle a law suit regarding trademark infringement with British Sky Broadcasting Group plc. British Sky Broadcasting Group uses the word “Sky” to brand many of its products such as “Sky Store and Share.” As part of the settlement, Microsoft agreed to change the name of its consumer and Pro SkyDrive products. British Sky Broadcasting Group agreed to allow Microsoft to continue using the name during a transition period. As some of you who may use the product may have noticed, the transition period has come to an end.
SkyDrive is now being called OneDrive. It is the same service it was before, but now with a new name. Windows 7 users should already see the new name show up in their My Documents and Favorites groups in the left hand column of Windows Explorer. Users of devices like iPhones, iPads, and Android devices will also see the name change when they update the application. With the name change, Microsoft did release some new features and incentives to use the service. Android phones can now use the OneDrive app to automatically backup their pictures stored on their device to the cloud. Microsoft also claims to have made it easier to share and view videos stored on the OneDrive service.
In addition to the name change and the new features, Microsoft has added some incentives help keep existing users and add new ones. You still get 7GB of storage just for signing up for OneDrive; however, now you can earn more storage space bringing your total storage up to 15GB. One easy way to get an extra 3GB of storage is to turn the automatic camera backup on in the settings of your smart device like your iPhone or Android tablet. Additionally, Microsoft has taken a cue from Dropbox and is allowing you to earn extra storage by referring friends. For each referral, you receive an additional 500MB of storage for a total of 5GB.
SkyDrive Pro is also being renamed to OneDrive Pro. As we have discussed before, the pro version of the product is part of the Office 365 subscription and is based on Microsoft’s popular document management and collaboration platform SharePoint. More information about changes to the pro service will be released at the SharePoint 2014 Conference March 3-4, according to this blog post from Microsoft (http://blog.onedrive.com/onedrive-is-now-available-worldwide/).
If you are not using a cloud service to backup and sync all of your important data you should be. It makes sharing all your important pictures and documents easy and secure. It also gives you access to all your files anytime, from any device, anywhere in the world.