Microsoft Corp. will soon be renaming its free cloud storage and syncing service to be in line with its newly released video game console.
SkyDrive, the cloud service that allows users to upload files and documents and then syncs them or makes them accessible across any number of PCs, tablets, and smartphones, will soon be renamed to OneDrive. Microsoft launched a new video game console in November called Xbox One.
Users of SkyDrive won’t need to do anything to migrate over to the newly branded service, writes Ryan Gavin, general manager of consumer apps & services for Microsoft, in a blog post. You’ll just notice the URL of the service will change one day and you’ll continue to use the service as you normally would.
The reason behind the rebranding is a court battle over the Sky name trademark that Microsoft surrendered to BSkyB last July. The British satellite broadcasting company won a ruling in UK court that required Microsoft to change the name. After first planning to appeal the decision, Microsoft settled with BSkyB to allow for a reasonable time to do a transition.
Along with the rebranded service, Microsoft is now also operating onedrive.com, a domain that is currently hosting a blog with archive content related to SkyDrive as well as the announcement made this morning.
Microsoft is competing with a crowded marketplace when it comes to cloud storage services. SkyDrive or OneDrive is up against Dropbox, Box.net, Google Drive, and plenty more services that offer to do the same thing for users. But its edge comes in integrating the service to Windows 8, Office 365, and its other products and services.
Still, SkyDrive didn’t show up on a market analysis done by Boston-based Strategy Analytics in March 2013. That survey of 2,300 American Internet users found that 55 per cent didn’t use a cloud syncing service. Of those that did, Apple’s iCloud or iTunes Match was the most popular at 27 per cent market share, followed by Dropbox at 17 per cent, 15 per cent for Amazon Cloud Drive, and 10 per cent for Google Drive.
SkyDrive replaced Microsoft’s previous file syncing service, Live Mesh, in 2012. Prior to that, the service was known as Windows Live Sync, which had been rebranded from Windows Live FolderShare. Microsoft acquired FolderShare from ByteTaxi Inc. in November 2005.
When exactly the OneDrive branding will take effect isn’t clear. This promotional video that suggests you use the service to store all your most sentimental data simply says “coming soon.”