OneDrive launches across all devices and with new features, don't call it SkyDrive
Microsoft has relaunched SkyDrive as OneDrive, thanks to a decision in court favouring British TV and media company BSkyB in a battle over trademarks in the UK and Europe.
The Redmond company hasn't simply altered the logo and pushed out the same product though, it's used the refresh as an ideal excuse to add new features in order to make its cloud service a more compelling offering.
The new name now appears across all platforms, bar Windows 8.1 as that needs an update of its own to alter the embedded app. All others, including the Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles, will have updated automatically today. Globally too.
As part of a new feature set, Microsoft has added a much-requested option to the Android OneDrive application. It now allows Android smartphone or tablet users to set their camera application to automatically upload all photos to the cloud service, something iOS and Windows Phone 8 versions have been able to do for a while.
OneDrive users will today also find that they can collaborate on documents stored in the cloud in real time, and from any device. Previously, multiple people could be given access to Word, Excel and Office documents, but they could only change them independently - effectively playing tag team to collaborate.
Video uploads are given a new feature that dramatically improves the ability to share them. A new engine within OneDrive allows for one the fly video transcoding. This means that once you've uploaded a video to your OneDrive storage and share it to friends or family, the version streamed to their device will take into account the speed and bandwidth of their connection. For example, your video might have been uploaded at 720p, but they might view it a 360p on a mobile phone using a 3G connection. Plans are that there will no longer be any buffering timeouts or spinning wheels.
Sharing itself has been made more easy, with simple clicks on files and clear and concise sharing boxes. And Facebook has been added as a location to share content links to (alongside Twitter, et al).
Like with SkyDrive in the past, OneDrive is free for 7GB of storage space. Users can gain 3GB of extra space by enabling their smartphones to automatically upload photos. And friends who join based on user referrals will earn both the user and the friend an extra 500MB. This can be done up to seven times.
Extra storage space can be purchased with 50GB costing £16 a year, 100GB £32 a year, and 200GB £64 a year.
To celebrate the launch, Microsoft will be giving 100,000 people 100GB of storage for free each. It will seed clues as to the exact time the offer will start on the OneDrive blog, Facebook and Twitter pages and then the first 100,000 to sign up will get the space.