SkyDrive is now officially called OneDrive, and it comes with free cloud storage

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SkyDrive has now officially been renamed to OneDrive by Microsoft, after a UK judge forced Redmond’s hand due to a naming issue brought to the attention of a court by British Sky Broadcasting.

Now, if you head over to www.skydrive.com, you’ll find that the service is now officially called OneDrive, complete with a revamped homepage, login fields, and more. But that’s not all.

Onedrivee

Just by signing up for OneDrive, you get 7GB of free storage automatically. (Microsoft originally offered 25GB free for SkyDrive users, but reduced the amount to 7GB in 2012 – so this freebee isn’t really anything new.) On top of that, for every person you successfully refer to OneDrive, you get an additional 500MB of cloud storage. You can refer up to 10 people. Do so, and you get an extra 5GB of free storage on top of the 7GB that’s automatically granted to you. Using the new camera backup feature allots you an additional 3GB as well.

Here’s what Microsoft’s Chris Jones had to say about today’s OneDrive announcement, via an official blog post.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to get all of your favorite stuff in one place – one place that is accessible via all of the devices you use every day, at home and at work. Because let’s face it, until now, cloud storage services have been pretty hard to use, and the vast majority of us still have our stuff spread out everywhere. In fact, according to a recent poll, at least 77 percent of people who are familiar with the cloud still have content stored on a device that is not backed up elsewhere. We want to change that.”

Here’s how OneDrive’s payment plans now stack up: If you want extra storage on top of what you get for free, you can pay $25 a year to get an additional 50GB of space to work with. And 100GB will run you $50 per year, while 200GB comes with a price tag of $100 annually.

In case you’re wondering why Microsoft had to change SkyDrive’s name to OneDrive, here’s a recap: According to Sky, a major broadcaster and provider of satellite and broadband Internet service in the UK, 17 of its customers reached out to the company, mistaking it for the same firm that operated Microsoft’s cloud service. Of course, that wasn’t the case, so a UK court ruled that Microsoft had to change the name of SkyDrive.

Sky, you see, names all of its product offerings with the word “sky” at the front: Sky Entertainment, Sky Broadband, Sky Wi-Fi, etc. The judge noted that because Sky and Microsoft’s SkyDrive service shared commonality with respect to naming, ”there was a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer.” The judge also ruled that Microsoft would be granted a “reasonable” amount of time to rename SkyDrive to something else. So here we are.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

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