Microsoft relaunches cloud storage service: Goodbye SkyDrive, hello OneDrive
Attendees at the National Retail Federation visit a Microsoft display. (AP / Mark Lennihan)
Published Wednesday, February 19, 2014 7:45AM EST
(Relaxnews) - Microsoft has officially renamed and relaunched its cloud storage service with some useful new features including collaborative editing and smart video streaming.
The software company was forced to change the service's name following a legal dispute with TV company BSkyB, and on Wednesday the rebrand went global.
And when existing SkyDrive users access the newly renamed OneDrive they will find that many things are exactly as they left them. It still offers 7GB of cloud storage free of charge and users can still log in to access web app versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for on-the-fly document editing.
However, there are several massive improvements. The biggest being that now people can simultaneously access and edit files stored in OneDrive. The feature brings it into line with Google Drive and Apple's iCloud. It also has a very clever trick up its sleeve in terms of video encoding. Shoot a video on a smartphone or tablet and upload it to your account and when you share it with friends and family it will automatically stream in the optimum resolution for the bandwidth and device accessing it.
Other welcome additions include an updated Android app that will automatically save any photos and videos captured on the device to OneDrive (the feature was already in the Windows phone and iOS versions).
In fact, the only problem with the new service is that because SkyDrive was an embedded app in Windows 8, desktop users are going to have to wait for a software update to be pushed out first before being able to access it. For everyone else, accessing SkyDrive will automatically reroute a smartphone or tablet to OneDrive landing page instead.
As well as a relaunch, Microsoft is also running a competition to get new users to give the service a go -- 100,000 accounts with 100GB of free storage are up for grabs. For more information, check out the OneDrive blog.