Microsoft SkyDrive Rebranded as OneDrive

The cloud storage service is undergoing a name change after running into a trademark dispute with the British Sky Broadcasting Group.

Cloud Storage

Last year, a court in the United Kingdom ruled that the SkyDrive brand, Microsoft's cloud storage product, infringed on the British Sky Broadcasting Group's (BSkyB) trademarks. BSkyB agreed to allow Microsoft to use the SkyDrive brand until the software giant could launch a global rebranding effort.

Today, that process is nearing its completion, indicated Microsoft.

On Jan. 27, the company announced that SkyDrive is changing its name to OneDrive, in a move that calls to mind the company's sweeping "One Microsoft" reorganization and the company's "all-in-one" video and entertainment console, the Xbox One. "We believe the new OneDrive name conveys the value we can deliver for you and best represents our vision for the future," Ryan Gavin, general manager of Microsoft's Consumer Apps & Services unit, wrote in a blog post.

Hinting at the legal issues the company encountered last year, Gavin wrote that "changing the name of a product as loved as SkyDrive wasn't easy." Justice Sarah Asplin of the England and Wales High Court ruled in BSkyB's favor on July 28 in its court fight over the SkyDrive brand.

Asplin cited consumer confusion as one of the key factors in her decision. In her judgment, she stated, "If one undertakes a global assessment, there is every reason to conclude that there is a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer in the sense that there is a risk that the public might believe that the services come from the same undertaking or one which is economically linked."

The companies later announced that they had reached a settlement agreement in which Microsoft would continue to use the SkyDrive brand for its cloud storage platform. "Sky will allow Microsoft to continue using the SkyDrive name for a reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand," said the companies in a press statement. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Now, Microsoft is alerting both consumer and business SkyDrive users to "to be able to experience the new OneDrive soon," said Gavin.

SkyDrive's millions of account holders should also expect a seamless transition. Microsoft announced last May the service had surpassed the 250 million user mark.

"For current users of either SkyDrive or SkyDrive Pro, you're all set. The service will continue to operate as you expect and all of your content will be available on OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, respectively, as the new name is rolled out across the portfolio," added Gavin.

Currently, the OneDrive home page tells visitors that the service is coming soon. Billed as the "One place for everything in your life," OneDrive will offer more than a rebranded SkyDrive experience, suggested Microsoft. "Get ready for an even better place to store and share your favorite things across all your favorite devices," reads the new Website.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...