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February 21, 2014

Microsoft's SkyDrive Reborn as OneDrive with New Features

Following the July ruling of a British court that Microsoft’s (News - Alert) SkyDrive name violated a trademark owned by the British Sky Broadcasting Group, Microsoft took the opportunity to redesign the cloud storage platform from the ground up. Now known as OneDrive, the service provides powerful cloud storage capabilities that rival those offered by iCloud, Dropbox and Google (News - Alert) Drive. Over 250 million existing business and consumer subscribers now benefit from the new features as a new surge in publicity poises OneDrive for even further growth.

Like a phoenix reborn from the ashes, SkyDrive has returned as a service more powerful than ever before. For example, users can now share videos in the same manner that they had previously shared photographs, a feature that is equally useful among friends as it is with co-workers. Android (News - Alert) phones that are linked to the service will also have their photos automatically backed up in the cloud, ensuring that users’ precious memories are never lost.

The rebranding of the service could have been a deathblow due to customers no longer recognizing the brand, but Microsoft used the renaming to their advantage by offering several promotions. Now, OneDrive users have up to 7 GB of free storage if they wish and an extra 3 GB if they are using the mobile phone photo backup feature.

 In addition, a referral program lets users get extra data space for referring their friends, maxing out at an extra 5 GB. In another plan to lure new users into the program, Microsoft is offering the first 100,000 customers that access their accounts 100GB of free storage and 200GB to those that purchased Microsoft’s Surface tablets. OneDrive is available for use on Windows, Apple (News - Alert), and Android devices.

Best of all, for those who had already subscribed to SkyDrive, the only thing that has left the cloud-storage program is the old name.  Users with accounts that predate the name change will be happy to know that all of their previously stored files will remain untouched.

Edited by Blaise McNamee

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