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.