Microsoft renames SkyDrive to OneDrive


Microsoft has renamed its cloud storage service, SkyDrive, to OneDrive. You may be wondering, why would the software giant do such a thing. Well, the company got in a conflict with British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) over the trademark on ‘sky’, because BSkyB alleged it was confusing customers. It’s a sad thing because SkyDrive was a great name, one of those rare Microsoft moments in choosing a solid name for its products.

While the name will change, nothing else will. It will be business as usual, no need to learn something new if you’re already a SkyDrive user. However, the preview OneDrive website states. “Get ready for an even better place to store and share your favorite things across all your favorite devices. OneDrive is everything you love about SkyDrive and more.”

That last bit has us wondering, what does Microsoft has in store for us? Will there be a redesign of the website, or will the company add extra features to make the service more robust. We have no idea at the moment, so we’ll play the waiting game until then.

Arguably, SkyDrive is one of the best cloud storage platform available right now. In fact, in my experience, it is the best. Hopefully Microsoft continues to do a good job, because this service is one of the few great things the company has left that hasn’t been tarnished to oblivion.

[via OneDrive Blog]

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  • Mike S.

    [@Ghenghis McCann] Just to clarify, it’s trademark here (think product brand names), not copyright (think art). (And to complete the picture, for patents, think inventions.)

    And trademark law indeed allows you to claim ownership over a common word, as long as that common word is not common for your use. For example, Apple can claim ownership of the trademark Apple for computers, but not for apples sold in the grocery store.

    Here, while the word sky itself is common, is the claimed trademark Sky really common for broadcasting and broadband services (what British Sky Broadcasting does, I guess), along the lines of Apple for grocery store apples? Or, in trademark talk, is it more likely “suggestive” (think Greyhound for bus services), which qualifies for trademark protection? My guess is, Sky Broadcasting got into this field early enough that the term sky wasn’t yet being seen as a common term in the data storage field, and the industry sort of grew up around Sky Broadcasting.

    As to confusion, think of it: if you were a Sky Broadcasting broadband customer, wouldn’t you assume that the company, providing you with Sky broadband, also was or might be affiliated with SkyDrive wireless data storage services? And in fact, Sky Broadcasting says that its customers indeed have been confused, a good test of this.

    As I said before, Microsoft either didn’t do its research in advance or made (in my opinion) not the best of business decisions in going forward with the SkyDrive name regardless, at least if it was not willing to pay Sky Broadcasting oodles of dollars for the right to go forward with the SkyDrive name.

  • Ghenghis McCann

    So, BSkyB are saying that their customers are too stupid to tell the difference between a satellite television network and cloud storage are they?

    Seriously though, how can you claim copyright over such a common word as “sky”? Perhaps the BBC should make a claim, as they’ve been running the astronomy programme “The Sky at Night” since April 1957, long before the creation of BSkyB.

  • Mike S.

    These large companies just can’t get the naming right–and it’s not rocket science. Microsoft screwed up with Metro, and then SkyDrive (or reverse that order). with the Amazon name (an established bookstore in Minneapolis already was using the name–Amazon ended up buying them off, presumably). And Apple with iPhone (or was it iPad?).