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Microsoft SkyDrive Renamed OneDrive After UK Legal Dispute

By - Source: OneDrive Blog | B 19 comments

Don't worry, only the name is changing. Microsoft says the service will otherwise continue to run as normal.

Last summer, Microsoft was ordered to change the name of its SkyDrive cloud storage service due to a legal dispute with BSkyB. The company wasn't given a deadline (or if it was, it wasn't publicized) and was permitted to continue using the SkyDrive name until it could find and transition to an alternative. Microsoft today revealed that alternative to be OneDrive. This morning, Preview.OneDrive.com went live with the following teaser:

"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. And it's coming soon."

There was also a form to sign up for updates as well as a link to the OneDrive blog. Over there, Microsoft's SkyDrive blog has been rebranded to match the new name and Ryan Gavin has published the first official 'OneDrive' blog post. Explaining the change of name, Gavin writes:

"We know that increasingly you will have many devices in your life, but you really want only one place for your most important stuff," Gavin says. "One place for all of your photos and videos. One place for all of your documents. One place that is seamlessly connected across all the devices you use. You want OneDrive for everything in your life."

Gavin doesn't specifically mention the reason for the name change except to say that it wasn't an easy decision and dropped a quick link to a relevant news story on the issue, but Microsoft was actually brought to court over the OneDrive name last summer. UK satellite company BSkyB (commonly known as Sky) won a trademark infringement suit against Microsoft in July of 2013. Sky claimed that Microsoft's use of 'Sky Drive' in all forms relating to cloud storage services amounted to an infringement of BSkyB's trademarks because BSkyB used to have its own cloud storage service dubbed 'Sky Store & Share.' The service allowed users to upload documents, files and photos for storage or sharing with others and was wound down in 2011. Still, Sky was worried people would be confused by Microsoft's SkyDrive offering and the courts agreed. The case was related to use of the term 'SkyDrive' in the European Union, but Microsoft, understandably, wants one name for the service, not two, so OneDrive it is.

Though the rumor mill had spat out BingDrive, FetchDrive, and NewDrive as potential contenders, OneDrive definitely makes the most sense. Especially when you consider Microsoft's Xbox One, which Microsoft bills as one device for all your entertainment needs.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Display 19 Comments.
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  • -2 Hide
    rad666 , January 27, 2014 12:23 PM
    How long do you think they spent making sure no one could come up with a alliteration along the lines of XBone?
  • -3 Hide
    Stimpack , January 27, 2014 12:27 PM
    At this rate I keep expecting to see "Windows renamed after UK legal dispute"
  • -2 Hide
    falchard , January 27, 2014 12:30 PM
    I wish they named it something pragmatic like 'Cloud:\'

    Are you saying "Barry's Windows" in North Chester suing Microsoft for the Windows Branding because people might mistaken Windows as one of their quality made windows?
  • 0 Hide
    Blazer1985 , January 27, 2014 12:37 PM
    HAH! I'm not afraid of trademark infringment. Keep in mind that we all live under the same -BigBlueThingThatConsumerMayConfuseForABroadcastService -
  • 4 Hide
    Kelthar , January 27, 2014 1:33 PM
    OneDrive... OneDri.. OneDr... OneD.. OneD[irection]? Well, another UK legal dispute it is.
  • 5 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 27, 2014 1:51 PM
    I predicted OneDrive months ago, I'll collect my money at the door thanks
  • 1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , January 27, 2014 2:07 PM
    I am still honestly surprised this was approved. The UK legal system is obviously favoring a local business because as far as I can tell, BSkyBs naming is way off of what Microsofts was.And you cannot expect consumers to mix up BKysB Sky Share and Store with Microsoft SkyDrive. The biggest difference, the Microsoft coming before the name of the service.
  • 0 Hide
    rantoc , January 27, 2014 10:00 PM
    why not name it nsa drive? would be more realistic!
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , January 28, 2014 4:25 AM
    Quote:
    why not name it nsa drive? would be more realistic!
    Funny but hardly any different than all the other cloud vendors, with one big difference, once the NSA has scanned your OneDrive and not found any evidence of being a terrorist then that is that end of it. They really could care less about your torrented episodes of Breaking Bad or if you like horse porn. Google Drive however, fully expect to get shed loads of targeted advertising, "You like Breaking Bad? Try Netflix!" or "You like horses? Try a Wild West experience, book here!" - yaaaaaaaa no thanks.
  • 1 Hide
    Kelthar , January 28, 2014 5:09 AM
    Quote:
    What a load of bull. This supposed trademark of a company no one had ever heard of isn't even close to skydrive. Sky store n share? Please.
    I wouldn't be surprised if that company launched "SkyDrive" in the upcoming months, to try and get a share of the publicity.
  • 0 Hide
    btrach , January 28, 2014 8:01 AM
    Not sure why Microsoft didn't fight more to keep the SkyDrive name. Bummer!
  • 0 Hide
    JMcEntegart , January 28, 2014 8:03 AM
    Quote:
    Not sure why Microsoft didn't fight more to keep the SkyDrive name. Bummer!


    They actually said they planned to appeal it last summer. I wonder what happened to that idea...
  • 0 Hide
    JohnUSA , January 28, 2014 8:09 AM
    This is to the evil, unfair, ridiculous and stupid British courts: Go to hell and may you burn there till eternity.
  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , January 28, 2014 8:12 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Not sure why Microsoft didn't fight more to keep the SkyDrive name. Bummer!


    They actually said they planned to appeal it last summer. I wonder what happened to that idea...


    Indeed. If only we had some sort of a person whose job it was to find out about noteworthy events - news, if you will - in the technology world, and report it to others on a public web site. Oh well, guess we'll just never know!

    (I kid, I kid. Odd, but they probably just decided that riding the wave of XBOX One marketing was less trouble than some drawn out court battle in what was likely a nationally biased legal environment)

    PS - JohnUSA... Good thing American courts never make stupid, nationally motivated rulings against foreign technology companies in favour of local ones - Amirite??
  • 0 Hide
    JMcEntegart , January 28, 2014 8:24 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Quote:
    Not sure why Microsoft didn't fight more to keep the SkyDrive name. Bummer!


    They actually said they planned to appeal it last summer. I wonder what happened to that idea...


    Indeed. If only we had some sort of a person whose job it was to find out about noteworthy events - news, if you will - in the technology world, and report it to others on a public web site. Oh well, guess we'll just never know!

    (I kid, I kid. Odd, but they probably just decided that riding the wave of XBOX One marketing was less trouble than some drawn out court battle in what was likely a nationally biased legal environment)

    PS - JohnUSA... Good thing American courts never make stupid, nationally motivated rulings against foreign technology companies in favour of local ones - Amirite??


    Microsoft agreed not to appeal and in exchange was allowed time to transition to a new brand. No other information on why the company decided not to appeal is available, so I am free to wonder with the rest of you. ;) 

    I would guess the decision to settle with BSkyB has something to do with continued business with Sky for content on UK Xboxes (just a guess!).

  • 0 Hide
    stevejnb , January 28, 2014 8:44 AM
    Blackmail Jane, blackmail. Don't they teach you people Harrison Ford style journalism these days? Gates or Ballmer is bound to have run over some peasant child riding around in their Microsoft hovercrafts at some point or another. Find out and you'll get your answers.
  • 0 Hide
    GreaseMonkey_62 , January 28, 2014 12:10 PM
    Another frivolous technology lawsuit won because...I don't know why. Judges are clueless?
  • 0 Hide
    cunningj8 , January 28, 2014 1:14 PM
    How long has SkyDrive been around and now this company is saying that MS has violated the copyright, i think thats stupid, screw that company, MS keep the name!
  • 0 Hide
    IklanbCOM , February 6, 2014 4:31 PM
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