Microsoft has announced it is renaming its SkyDrive cloud service to OneDrive, after losing a trademark dispute with British Sky Broadcasting Group over the "Sky" name in July 2013. The transition will happen in the coming weeks with no interruptions to the service whatsoever. But the company promises that this is more than just a cosmetic change, saying OneDrive is everything you love about SkyDrive and more.
Microsoft General Manager for Consumer Apps and Services Ryan Gavin announced the move in a blog post this morning. Though he admitted changing the name of a product isn’t easy, he also played it down making the case for the new name: “Why OneDrive? We know that increasingly you will have many devices in your life, but you really want only one place for your most important stuff. One place for all of your photos and videos. One place for all of your documents. One place that is seamlessly connected across all the devices you use.”
Current SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro users will have all their content available on OneDrive and OneDrive for Business respectively as the new name is rolled out across the portfolio. Microsoft has set up a preview page for anyone who wants to be notified when OneDrive launches as well as a relocated OneDrive blog.
Microsoft had claimed it wasn’t easy to confuse its cloud-based SkyDrive services with BSkyB’s pay-TV, mobile and online services. Furthermore the ban only applied to the European Union. Nevertheless, after initially planning to appeal the court’s decision, the company backed down in exchange for a reasonable period of time to switch its branding over to something different and on a global scale to ensure consistency.