Microsoft OneDrive: 10 Things to Expect From the Cloud Storage Service

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2014-02-20 Print this article Print

It's official. Microsoft's SkyDrive is now known as OneDrive. The rebranding follows a bitter legal battle with the United Kingdom's British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, that forced the software giant to change that name of its SkyDrive cloud storage service rather than waste time trying to win what looked like a losing legal battle. Whatever the reason, SkyDrive is dead, and now, OneDrive appears to be here to stay. Overall, OneDrive is an awful lot like SkyDrive, including its design layout and feature set. Still, the platform is notable in that it's Microsoft's best effort yet to compete with cloud-storage services from Google and others. It's also arguably one of the most important online services the company will offer in the coming years as the cloud continues to evolve as an integral component in the average person's life. This eWEEK slide show will provide a primer on Microsoft OneDrive, discussing both new and old features, and key factors that folks should consider before selecting this or any other cloud data service. Here is what to expect from OneDrive.

  • Microsoft OneDrive: 10 Things to Expect From the Cloud Storage Service

    by Don Reisinger
    1 - Microsoft OneDrive: 10 Things to Expect From the Cloud Storage Service
  • The Design Will Feel Similar

    Since Microsoft was forced to make the transition from SkyDrive to OneDrive somewhat quickly, it's no surprise that the platform's design is awfully similar. Those who had been using SkyDrive will find that getting around the service is simple, and completing many of the same tasks won't require any breaking in. That's probably a good thing.
    2 - The Design Will Feel Similar
  • Microsoft Is Offering Free Storage to Get You Started

    Microsoft is still trying to entice new users to sign up for OneDrive by giving them free storage. Microsoft says that every new person who signs up for the cloud solution will get 7GB of free storage. Anything beyond that will cost some cash, depending on the user's storage needs.
    3 - Microsoft Is Offering Free Storage to Get You Started
  • Extra Free Storage for Refer-a-Friend

    Microsoft is making a strong push to bring on new members to OneDrive. The company said in a blog post Feb. 19 that customers who refer others to OneDrive will receive 500MB free, up to a maximum of 5GB free. Microsoft is even giving customers 3GB free when they use its camera backup feature.
    4 - Extra Free Storage for Refer-a-Friend
  • Pick a Device, Any Device

    One of the nice things about Microsoft's OneDrive is that it's available on just about every device imaginable. The service works with Android handsets, can connect to Windows PCs and works on Macs. The service also works exceptionally well on the Xbox One, and allows users to back up files from iOS. Ubiquity might be a key reason OneDrive could eventually enjoy success.
    5 - Pick a Device, Any Device
  • There Is Automatic Android Photo Backup

    A new feature on OneDrive is automatic Android backup. The feature allows users to set their Android handsets so that as soon as an image is taken, it's automatically backed up to their OneDrive. The feature is similar to the automatic backup available with OneDrive on iOS and Windows Phone 8.
    6 - There Is Automatic Android Photo Backup
  • Sharing Videos Got Easier

    One of the issues SkyDrive users were having with the offering was the general inability to quickly and easily share and watch videos. In many cases, they were forced to wait an inordinate amount of time to access the content. That has been solved with OneDrive. Microsoft says that the issues users were previously experiencing are now gone and should allow for a more entertaining time watching videos.
    7 - Sharing Videos Got Easier
  • Office Web Apps? Still There

    This is no surprise, given Microsoft's focus on the cloud. Office Web Apps are still accessible from OneDrive. Users can access and view Office files, as well as edit Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote documents. OneDrive also includes the ability to integrate those files with the desktop versions of Office.
    8 - Office Web Apps? Still There
  • Microsoft Added Real-Time Document Collaboration

    Arguably one of the biggest improvements to OneDrive is Microsoft's addition of real-time document collaboration. With that feature, users in a corporate environment (or friends on the consumer side) can work on the same document in real-time without fear of OneDrive losing the latest version. It's something that Google Drive users have had for a while, and it's nice to see Microsoft offering a similar solution.
    9 - Microsoft Added Real-Time Document Collaboration
  • Microsoft's Smart Integration Works With Third-Party Apps

    Microsoft realizes that, in order to be successful, its offering must be capable of playing nice with any and all third-party services. We've already mentioned support for Macs, iOS and Android, but Microsoft also allows users to seamlessly share photos or videos to Facebook or email. After recording game play from the Xbox One, the content can be uploaded to OneDrive and shared with others. Microsoft is platform-agnostic with OneDrive and should be commended for that.
    10 - Microsoft's Smart Integration Works With Third-Party Apps
  • There's an Act-Fast Opportunity

    So this one might have a shorter shelf life, but Microsoft announced that it will be giving away 100GB of free storage for one year to 100,000 people. Microsoft hasn't said exactly how it will determine who gets the free storage, but it has urged users to follow its Twitter page "for clues." It's a nice offer, and speaks to just how serious Microsoft appears to be about getting users onto OneDrive.
    11 - There's an Act-Fast Opportunity

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