Microsoft drops SkyDrive name, announces OneDrive instead

As many already know, Microsoft’s SkyDrive is the company’s cloud-based storage service.  We use it on our Windows Phone to back-up photos, access documents and other files we keep in the cloud.

Today, Microsoft has announced that they are retiring the SkyDrive branding for this cloud storage and renaming things OneDrive.  The thinking behind the name is that while you have many devices in your life, you only want one place to store your documents, images, videos and other files. 

Microsoft announced back in July of the impending name change due to litigation against them by British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB), who successfully claimed that SkyDrive infringed on the “Sky” trademark.

Current SkyDrive and SkyDrive Pro customers will not see any interruptions in service as the name change begins to roll out.  No date was given as to when the transition will begin other than “expect to be able to experience the new OneDrive soon”.

As we learn more about this change, we’ll surely pass it on.

Source:; Thanks, everyone, for the tips!


Reader comments

Microsoft drops SkyDrive name, announces OneDrive instead



The reason it was changed to OneDrive is because BSkyB took MS to court over the "SkyDrive" name. MS lost and agreed to change the name. This is the result. 

This is the ONLY reason that Microsoft has changed the name. They wouldn't have otherwise.

No idea how this article can miss that out, it was reported everywhere...

THis should probably be stated in the article, MS can't use skydrive anymore, if they won the court battle, im sure MS would of kept the skydrive name. 



Indeed. I wanted Microsoft to continue calling it SkyDrive everywhere else and in the UK simply call it "Microsoft SkyDrive", like they did with Excel. SkyDrive was a great name. They should've kept it.

Is that really how the EU works? A legal decision in any EU country is forced onto all countries in the EU?

Maybe try this thing called "thinking" before posting...

It was added to the article AFTER i posted my comment.

Not really, all this shows is how weak Microsoft is (or just stupid) not fighting the idiots At SkyTV in the UK. Screw OneDrive, SkyDrive was a much better name, and made more sense as well, i.e. Sky->Clouds->Cloud Storage, it was brilliant.

This is the same BS they pulled with dropping the Metro name, without putting up a fight with a stupid German retailer that nobody outside of a limited market even knows about same as with the stupid SkyTV thing.

SkyDrive also went well with Skype; what are they going to drop that for Onepe also?


actually one drive makes more sense, xbox one, not to mention all of ms services use one drive, it should have been that from the start


Im not sure what your problem with cognitive reasoning is, but sky sued MS for trade mark infringment. And won. Winning in court (in the uk) has nothing to do with strength or will power.

They lost a tiny case at a lower court. They didn't even try to appeal. And that court ruling had no effect on business outside of the UK. Microsoft should've kept the SkyDrive name elswhere and simply renamed it "Microsoft SkyDrive" in the UK while they appealed.

Do you have a source for that? It seems unlikely that a UK court decision would be EU-binding. Either way, my solution still stands: they should've renamed it "Microsoft SkyDrive". Everyone would've still called it SkyDrive and all woudl've been fine.

I believe they did something similar with Microsoft Excel back in the day, and you see mostly just the Excel branding on stuff. I think they could've found a way to make it work with SkyDrive. OneDrive is okay, but I definitely think SkyDrive is better, and I'm surprised they gave up fighting so easily on a brandname that they had been building for 8 years and owned all the major naming domains (, @SkyDrive, etc.).

I agree. I think in time however you will find that familiarity breeds preference, and we will look back and think that OneDrive is better than SkyDrive. Time will tell anyway. At least they've chosen a name that A) comes with with a nice personable marketing message, and B) aligns with one of their largest brands outside of the tight-nit Microsoft ecosystem: Xbox One. Not to mention the familiarity for business customers who use OneNote.

I disagree. I think OnDrive is more in-line with Microsoft's push to move their OS into "One" OS so in that sense it's better and also a more coherent name.

You're not making any sense. They lost the court case, which means they fought it. What more should they do? If they thought they could appeal in sure their lawyers would of done that. Case closed...move on.

Maybe the same thing Apple did when they didn't own the iPhone trademark in Brazil and lost in a court and later on they paid for it? If Microsoft could afford the infamous KIN (research, PR, advertising, distribution, et al) but like you said, case closed. Microsoft sometimes won't even try hard. Sad.

Buying Sky would cost A LOT - its basically the main TV provider in Ireland and the UK, as well as phone and broadband, and is present in Germany and Italy too. The cost would greatly outweight the benefit.

Most certaintly true but it's not like Microsoft doesn't have deep pockets. In regards with cost outweighting the benefit, again, there's KIN, Zune, Windows LIVE...

BSkyB is worth $23,000,000,000.00, (23 thousand, million, or to americans 23 billion for some reason) and if Microsoft tried to buy it all that would push the price up. They simply couldn't afford to buy the whole company. They could have come to an agreement over the name which would have cost less, but what's the point. Cheaper to change the name, and I like the new name better, it makes more sense to everyday people. Although, isn't the cloud storage on Linux called Ubuntu OneDrive???

I never suggested Microsoft should have bought the entire company, lol. Like you said, they could've done the agreement but Microsoft DIDN'T! What's the point? Well, that's been the name of their (now former) product since 2007! This just adds to Microsoft's everlasting confusing branding changes.

But Sky has been using the name since 1988. I don't think skydrive was a particularly good name anyway. One drive is much better, perhaps they were glad to change it :D

It comes down to understanding what or who trademarked "sky" (BskyB) in this case, now think if Microsoft fought this by appealing, BskyB would simply counter argue that Microsoft has a trademark on "Windows." So, be it Sky or Windows, Microsoft could never win that argument. :-)

Windows is one word. Sky was being used as a prefix, in a way that BskyB wasn't using it: "Sky Go" vs. "SkyDrive". See the difference? Spaces are important.

Sky have been known to drop the space in their advertising, or at least the graphics appear to have dropped the space, so much so its common for people to write SkyAnytime

Of coarse I see the difference, but that's not the point I was making. Try and convince a Judge or jury that "sky" cannot be trademarked because its a general term/word (as is "metro" & look what happened in that case) but yet Microsoft just so happens to have trademarked "Windows" another general term/word. How could Microsoft argue to that? Evidently, Microsoft's lawyers felt there was no way to win that argument on an appeal.

SkyDrive was also confused by customers as being Skype. Trust me, I deal with users every day who tell me they don't know where their pictures are as they hand me their laptop with Skype open.

While SkyDrive is a good name, OneDrive is even better, it's more in-line with Microsoft's drive to make all "One" :-) 

I actually like both names.  As you said, SkyDrive was brilliant because it alluded to the cloud.  But I like OneDrive too because it points to One drive for all of your devices, One or the common experience across all of the devices as MS is trying to convey.

Yeah, awesome ad.

Will miss SkyDrive but OneDrive is good choice, simple and self explanatory imho

Does this now mean we are going 6to get a Skygo app?. Surley this was the reason we did not have the SKYgo app for Windows...

I'm going to take a moment to appreciate that you're an Android user posting with the new WPC app. I'm proud of you.

perhaps, but it clearly identifies the brand (Microsoft) with the product/service offered. (GMail, Google Drive are other examples besides Apple's product/branding). Also, potentially, poses less risk from a copyright infringement perspective.

What a hell is an Xbox One?! I guess it's something like the Loch Ness monster. I've heard of it, I've even seen pictures of it, but never saw one out in the wild :)

I like the SkyDrive name, but this name is safe and makes a lot of sense. X-Drive would have been cool, but that wouldn't have come cheap. Good move.

AOL owns the rights to the domain. Microsoft would have had to pay them a large some to take ownership. They wouldn't have had an issue with BMW. But that is all irrelevant now.

Then when your mentally used to OneDrive, you'll think SkyDrive wasn't as good. Its the way our brains familiarize things. I thought SkyDrive was dumb in the beginning and now that OneDrive is out I feel like SkyDrive was better. But OneDrive is clever and will definitely stick.

OneDrive is a stupid name, for **** sake even XboxDrive would be better
Why they didn't fight back against that unknown tv company?

OneDrive is alot better than XboxDrive. Its a really good name change I don't think it will hurt the branding. One has consistency with other MS applications as mentioned earlier.

To Americans, yes, unknown. I read BBC News and watch several British shows, and I had no idea Sky was using their name as a brand for a variety of products before this lawsuit happened. I thought it was just a cable provider. Why would anyone who doesn't live in their advertising area know they even exist?

The logic behind the name "OneDrive" is sound, but SkyDrive just has a better ring to it (and rolls off the tongue easier). I don't get what's with Microsoft not standing up and fighting for their branding lately -- first Metro and now this. Has the EU really made them their bitch so much that they have to roll over every time some company's overly-broad trademark overlaps slightly with one of their products?

George made it seem like Microsoft leisurely or on their own wanted to change skydrives mention of the lawsuit.

Sky in the UK (tv service) won a lawsuit for essentially having a trademark on Sky* and that Skydrive infringed. 

That's bogus. Just like King getting the word "Candy" copyrighted for games and clothing. How much B.S. is that?

Nothing like King’s lawsuit at all. bSkyb is a massive global brand, not just UK. They also have many many products with the Sky prefix, Sky TV, Sky Broadband, Sky Mobile, Sky Go, Sky News, Sky Bet, Sky Poker, all of their channels are Sky 1, Sky Arts, Sky Movies, Sky Sports. It is entirely plausible that consumers would confuse a product called Sky Drive with a blue logo (same as sky) with one of their services, especially as Sky do offer online storage with their broadband packages.

King’s lawsuit is ridiculous, whereas this one makes sense

Confusing the producs is a BS argument lawyers like to use. What is going to be next Skype? It has Sky in the name as well? Fucking ridiculous.


Not just an argument, it was actually happening. The Sky call centre was fielding support calls for SkyDrive.

Confusing Skype is a bit far fetched, as the branding is different and no one identifies with the word 'Sky' as a word on its own like you can with SkyDrive.

It's more than plausible; one of BSB's key arguments were that customers *were* calling through to their helpdesk assuming that SkyDrive was a Sky solution.

Yeah, I liked this ad a lot. Lets hope they market WP8.1 and new Lumia hardware as good as this.

I don't hate the name. It'll be rolling off the tongue naturally soon enough. "yeah I just saved the doc to onedrive"

Not bad. May not be as good as SkyDrive, but its good enough and the name fits in with Xbox one.

I would mention why they didnt have a choice so people dont think they just changed there mind.

I like the logo and it keeps some familiarity from SkyDrive so people don't think it is a completely new service. I will probably still refer to it as SkyDrive!

Its a nice name, decent I must say. I remember sometime back reading an article here about a case wherein the court ordered that Microsoft change the name SkyDrive. So finally the change has arrived.

Just a biritish tv distributor can destroy this beauty name; they sue for sky and judge says yes this name is for them fair-enough judge LoL

Yes, FredBloggs007 correct it, just confused it with something else; thanks for your feedback ;)

We knew it was coming but meh. Maybe now though I'll get that 20gb free year of 'OneDrive' storage they couldn't be a**** to offer me back in December 

I feel like you guys should probably at least mention why the name change is taking place :P It's not just because they felt like giving away the bit of brand recognition they'd built up :P

Sooooooo... you just scrolled past ALL the other comments straight to the bottom to post this question?  Dude... seriously...

I still like my idea of calling it "Avenue" as it fits the metro theme and suits its purpose.. i will live with OneDrive, its a good 2nd choice :P

I like the new name and MS ads have been improving at a rapid pace. I like the direction this company is moving into.

I still prefer my idea MiDrive instead of OneDrive but this may be one piece of their new vision. I'm very interested to see this one play out... Keep it going MS.

This is so silly! I hate it...You shouldn't be able to trademark normal words like Sky or Metro... And it only happens to MS

It is. Legally you CAN'T trademark nouns. Only compositions. So unless BskyB had trademarked the name "SkyDrive", MS shouldn't have lost the trial.
Which means MS legal team sucks.

Hopefully this means skygo can come out on windows phone and sky can connect to the xbox one in the uk now?

Awful choice. Luckily it won't last long since there's already a "OneDrive" in the market.

And I keep thinking MS has a very crappy legal team if they didn't win the trial over the noun "Sky".

[Lame-pun newscaster voice] That would be, "one," way to move away from the Lumia brand.

I'm surprised that MS accepted the ruling in favour of BSkyB without any appeal. What with the recent ruling that the word Candy could be trademarked (in spite of the existence of an established company called Candy) I do wonder about how judges come to such decisions.

Will Skype be forced to become Onepe?