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SkyDrive is dead! All hail Microsoft OneDrive! Happy now, Uncle Rupe?

Redmond flips switch on new cloud storage branding after trademark flap

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Microsoft has completed the transition of its SkyDrive cloud storage service to its new branding, henceforth to be known as OneDrive.

Beginning on Wednesday, users who navigate to the URL of the former SkyDrive website are redirected to the newly rebadged OneDrive site. The new site has a user interface that's virtually identical to the old one, and all of SkyDrive users' bytes should remain intact after the transition.

The switch follows a 2011 lawsuit in which a judge found that Redmond's use of the SkyDrive brand for online services infringed trademarks owned by Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting Group, which also offers internet storage.

It took Microsoft about six months after the final ruling to come up with a new name for its service before arriving at the rather unimaginative moniker "OneDrive" in January.

To commemorate the changeover, Microsoft awarded the first 100,000 users who accessed the rebranded service 100GB of free storage – although the extra gigabytes are only good for twelve months, after which customers must either start paying for them or lose them.

Microsoft OneDrive

No trademark infringement here, just lots of free cloudy storage (click to enlarge)

OneDrive users with Android devices can also receive an additional 3GB of permanent storage if they enroll in the service's new automatic camera backup feature, which stores photos online as soon as they're snapped. (The Windows Phone and iOS versions of the client software already had this feature.)

In addition, Microsoft will dole out another 500MB of free storage for each new punter that current users refer to the service, up to a maximum of 5GB.

The transition to the OneDrive branding does also coincide with one new feature. When users upload video files to the service, it will now automatically transcode them into formats and bitrates appropriate for easy online sharing.

Updated mobile apps with the new branding were rolled out for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Xbox on Wednesday. But desktop Windows and other software that has the SkyDrive name baked in – such as Office – will apparently take a bit longer to complete the transition.

"Windows Phone UI and Windows 8.1 will be serviced in the coming months, as they will require a product update," Microsoft told El Reg in an emailed statement. ®

High performance access to file storage

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