Microsoft tonight officially changed the name of its SkyDrive cloud storage service to OneDrive, rolling out the new brand across its apps for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and the web. The company announced plans for the name change previously, after a trademark dispute forced Microsoft to come up with a new brand.
Even though the change wasn’t originally made willingly, the company is attempting to make the most of the situation. “The new name lines up better with the product vision,” said Angus Logan, a group marketing manager for OneDrive, during a recent demo of the OneDrive service on Microsoft’s Redmond campus.
OneDrive is largely the same as SkyDrive, but with the new name, Microsoft is rolling out new features such as the ability to dynamically detect the user’s connection speed for smoother video playback. The company is also adding an automatic camera roll backup feature to its Android app, matching a feature that was rolled out in SkyDrive for iPhone last fall.
With the change to OneDrive, the company is announcing new promotional incentives that will let users get up 8 GB of additional free storage, beyond the default 7 GB of free storage. The additional storage will come in the form of 3 GB for using the camera roll backup feature, and 500 MB for each of up to 10 friends who accept invites to OneDrive from the user. This is similar in concept to the referral bonus popularized by Dropbox.
The potential total of 15 GB of free storage matches what Google offers users of its Google Drive service. Microsoft is also offering a new monthly payment plan for premium OneDrive accounts, in addition to annual pricing.
SkyDrive (now OneDrive) is incorporated into Windows 8 and works with Office for file storage. The name isn’t expected to be changed in Windows 8.1 until a future update to the Microsoft operating system.