Microsoft has officially launched the OneDrive cloud storage service as a replacement for SkyDrive, but it’s more than just a name change.
The company was forced to rebrand following a UK ruling that the SkyDrive name infringed on BSkyB’s Sky brand. Microsoft revealed the new OneDrive name at the end of January.
OneDrive has now been launched, and the change will be a seamless experience for existing SkyDrive users. However, Microsoft has also used the occasion to introduce a few noteable new features.
Now, like Dropbox, OneDrive users will be able to earn extra storage space. Refer a friend to the service and you’ll get an extra 500MB of storage. You can earn up to 5GB extra in this way alone, and the ten friends you refer will also received an extra 500MB.
Meanwhile activating the camera back-up facility on iOS, Android (a new feature to this version), or Windows Phone apps will earn you an extra 3GB of storage.
All this is in addition to the 7GB basic allocation every new OneDrive user receives. Want more? You can now sign up to a subscription package in order to increase that figure, starting from £16 a year for an extra 50GB.
Another new feature is the ability to collaborate on documents stored on OneDrive simultaneously, Google Drive-style.
Video uploading has also been improved, so that the quality of the download stream a the other end will adapt according to the quality of the connection. This should ensure speedier and more reliable video sharing.
Microsoft has already launched the refreshed OneDrive website, and the SkyDrive apps on Mac, Windows 8, Windows Vista, iOS, Android and (of course) Windows Phone will be updated today.