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Microsoft Kicks Off SkyDrive Transition with OneDrive Launch

Microsoft today launched its new OneDrive cloud storage service, which replaces SkyDrive. The new name change comes with a few new bells and whistles.  However, OneDrive won't just show up and replace SkyDrive on your system or device -- you must transition to the new service by logging into OneDrive.com.

Other than the new name, OneDrive looks identical to SkyDrive, which Microsoft agreed to rename last summer after a British court ruled it infringed on a trademark held by Sky Broadcasting Group. Microsoft last month revealed OneDrive as the new name for the service following the ruling.

The new OneDrive also includes real-time co-authoring when used with Office 365, allowing for simultaneous edits of Word, Excel or PowerPoint files. An additional new feature includes taking advantage of Android cameras for backup -- a feature already included with iOS and Windows Phone devices.

What Microsoft didn't say is if you use Windows 8, you'll have to wait a few months for a systems update. According to the instructions, to switch from SkyDrive to OneDrive, you must go to the app store of your device platform.

On iOS the transition was pretty seamless. As instructed. I went to the Apple App Store, searched for OneDrive and installed it. Within a minute or so, OneDrive replaced SkyDrive. However when searching for OneDrive in the Windows Store, it was nowhere to be found.

Upon inquiring with Microsoft, a spokeswoman explained why: "Because OneDrive is built into the OS, OneDrive will be updated in Windows in the coming months."  Likewise, if you try to download OneDrive on a Windows 7 PC,  it will re-install SkyDrive. I wouldn't go as far to say Microsoft has left Windows 8 users in the cold since SkyDrive will continue to work but it is rather ironic that Microsoft was able to deliver it for iOS and Android before Windows.

Microsoft still offers 7 GB of storage free of charge and today said it will offer an additional 3 GB to those who use the camera backup feature. For those who purchase additional storage, Microsoft is now offering monthly billing rather than requiring customers to pay a one-time fee.

The SkyDrive Pro service for SharePoint users will be renamed OneDrive for Business. Microsoft said it will disclose plans for that service at next month's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 02/19/2014 at 2:20 PM


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