back to article Murdoch's BSkyB stares down Microsoft: Redmond renames SkyDrive to OneDrive

After six months of deliberation, Microsoft has announced the new name for its trademark-disputed SkyDrive cloud storage service: OneDrive. The SkyDrive brand, which has been a cornerstone of Microsoft's latest Windows marketing, was called into dispute in 2011 when British Sky Broadcasting Group – the European satellite …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No prizes for guessing what Sky are building ....

    1. Rusty 1
      Trollface

      What? An inflexible overpriced media distribution system?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        No, they have that already. I smell a new skydrive in the works. Same as the old skydrive.

  2. returnmyjedi

    They'll be after Skynet next. Be a shame if Mr Murdoch is visited in the small hours by a T-1000.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "They'll be after Skynet next. Be a shame if Mr Murdoch is visited in the small hours by a T-1000."

      I think it would be a delight, actually.

      It could be far worse, Skynet could launch a coordinated global nuke strike against media corp HQ.

    2. solo

      SkyNet was destroyed

      They are planning OneNet now (literally). So, the only one to worry is MS again (and Ubuntu).

      "Give me your trading clothes"

    3. kmac499

      Maybe he is the T1000....

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just had an email from MS about this.

    Not sure I should have had it, as it called me "test' - which isn't my name.

    They advised about the name change then gave me an extra 20GB storage for a year. That's 65GB I've had free from them so far, so I'm okay with the branding change ;)

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Just had an email from MS about this.

      Well Mr Ickle what is you first name?

  4. Keef

    Still SkyDrive here for me...

  5. dotdan

    At least Microsoft *gave* it a new name this time

    It could start to get really confusing if, each time they lose a branding case, the feature/service in question went without a name from then on.

    Mind you, having no name is probably not a lot more confusing from calling two different products exactly the same thing (Outlook, I'm looking at you)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Outlook? no Outlook!

      I was trying to help someone with a "Can't send draft email" issue in Outlook and frankly I was confused "there is no send button". "What program are you in? what does it say at the top of the screen?" - Outlook, OK Outlook, scratches head, "and you have the mail open, you double clicked the draft email but there is no send button..."

      Madness, don't call some re-branded online web service Outlook! people don't assimilate the .com extension so break the work OnOutlook, WebOutlook. I'm driving more towards Thunderbird now at least I know where the buttons are.

      (just in case anyone actually gets this he was on the web version of "Outlook" and needed to hit 'Continue Writing')

  6. Phil W

    Incoming lawsuit from Canonical?

    Given Ubuntu One I would imagine Canonical would have solid ground to block this and/or sue MS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Mushroom

      Re: Incoming lawsuit from Canonical?

      Yes because OneDrive sounds so similar Ubuntu One it's easy to get the two mixed up, maybe I'll see if my 2 year old kid gets it mixed up, if not then you will clearly know your levels of comprehension.

      C'mon, make up your fucking minds people, do you want silly pointless lawsuits or not....it sounds different, get over it.

      Rabid Linux down voting expected.

      1. Phil W

        Re: Incoming lawsuit from Canonical?

        It certainly sounds a lot more similar than SkyDrive to BskyB's non-existant cloud storage service, and they won that case.

  7. pacman7de
    Facepalm

    Ubuntu One ..

    This wouldn't be the first time Microsoft co-incidentally named something confusingly similar to a rival service - Office Open XML not to be confused with Open Office XML ..

    Ubuntu One personal cloud, not to be confused with OneDrive ..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ubuntu One ..

      Does Ubuntu even have the financial resources to sue a megacorp like MS?

      1. Phil W

        Re: Ubuntu One ..

        Well they're not huge certainly, but with $30 million in revenue I would suggest they're big enough to take on the fight if they solid enough legal footing.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rename

    They could have gone with SeaDrive instead of SkyDrive - cue endless hilarious confusion...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Rename

      @AC 00:20

      And an incoming lawsuit from Seagate.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: Rename

        Did you miss AC's pun?

  9. busycoder99

    Last I checked

    NSADrive was still available. Not sure why they did not snap that up.

  10. Bucky O' Hare

    Yet another confusing rebrand from MS

    The problem with Microsoft is that they're not seeing any word-of-mouth success these days. The public aren't bothered about their offerings, instead plumping for solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive.

    And they're what we use as a business to share files with our customers. Not Skydrive/OneDrive whatever.

    Is it time for another Outlook rebrand yet? Just what is Outlook web edition called these days?

    - Microsoft Hosted Exchange

    - Outlook 365

    - Outlook Web Access

    PS. Has anyone ever tried to login to Outlook (exchange) online and had their credentials rejected? And then realised you're trying to login to the public portal, which is also called Outlook, and looks pretty much the same?

    MS = Messy & Confused

    1. Bert 1
      WTF?

      Re: Yet another confusing rebrand from MS

      Absolutely. Have an upvote Sir!

      Mrs Bert1 - Outlook exchange account with work.

      Me - Outlook (hotmail) account (Not may main account, I hasten to add - but I log in occasionally)

      No obvious way to switch between them, and no cue as to which you are on.

      It's a complete pain in the mailbox.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MicroDrive?

    Would have evoked memories of the Sinclair days.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      I'd have gone for the iPod Mini, and High-end (For its time...) SLR Camera Memory Card Format myself.

  12. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Holmes

    OneDrive

    Pfft sorry but that name sounds pants

    1. qwarty

      Re: OneDrive

      IMO its not a bad name at all. Whats wrong with it? Actually connects with their aspirations (One drive to rule them all). Considering the disaster zone that is Microsoft Marketing normally, I'm surprised they chose such a good name, better than SkyDrive I reckon.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    Shame

    SkyDrive was a really strong name IMO. Surprised Sky won this one.

    1. localzuk

      Re: Shame

      Why are you surprised? BSkyB have been in the internet services business for a lot longer than Microsoft have been using the name in their storage solution. Ask anyone on the street who runs a service starting with Sky in the UK and they will first think of BSkyB.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shame

        Astronomers have had storage solutions for far longer.

        1. localzuk

          Re: Shame

          Do astronomers have the trademark Sky then?

          Otherwise, your argument is entirely pointless.

      2. JDX Gold badge

        Why are you surprised?

        Because ask anyone in th UK what they think of when you say "Sky" and they will say "Sky TV" not "BSkyB", and trademarks are supposed to be limited to a certain area. Cloud storage and satellite television would seem far enough apart in my mind.

        1. kmac499

          Re: Why are you surprised?

          Try asking anyone in the UK, who has tried to cancel their subscription to Sky.

          (Please note you may need to be over 18 to receive such opinions)

          1. localzuk

            Re: Why are you surprised?

            @JDX - Sky have a trademark in the internet services industry, which happens to cover websites/cloud services really. They run one of Britains largest ISPs!

  14. Anonymous IV

    Progression?

    SkyDrive -> OneDrive -> 1Drive -> iDrive -> lawsuit...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finally

    It's not truly a Microsoft product until it's gone through a name change. I wonder if they'll rebrand it again when the Xbox One 2 comes out?

    Microsofts branding and product portfolio has always been all over the place, but they seem to be getting worse. Google were quite bad at that for a while too, but they seem to have sorted themselves out even if some of the decisions to do that have been controversial.

    I originally signed up for a Windows Live email account through their website hotmail.com and a good few months back I had an option to migrate my address to @Outlook.com instead. I figured I'd go for the Outlook address as I preferred it to the live address, so clicked the link to migrate my mailbox across. It isn't an important account just a throwaway MS account that I use for MSDN / Xbox live. I signed into MSDN and Xbox live no problem with my new @outlook.com address, so everything was great or so I thought. My partner recently tried to email me at the outlook.com address and it turns out that it isn't a valid email address and messages just get bounced back... The live.com address still works though, but outlook.com lets me sign into xbox and MSDN? All very bizarre

  16. VinceH Silver badge

    So the nth iteration of the XBox is the XBox One.

    SkyDrive has become OneDrive.

    For consistency, then, the next version of Windows should be called Windows One.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      For consistency, then, the next version of Windows should be called Windows One.

      I could care less what they call it, I just hope they call it TIFKAM GONE!

  17. Fihart

    More corporate-speak twaddle.

    "convey the value we can deliver for you and best represents our vision for the future."

  18. Crisp Silver badge

    A quick trip to the search engine and....

    Turns out that 1D is already a thing.

  19. pisquee

    Wonder if they'll rebrand Security Essentials back to being OneCare

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nah, ever tried saying that with a French accent

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bing next.

    Come on Silver Spring Mineral Water Co. Ltd. of Folkestone. Do your stuff.

  21. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Just how dense do you need to be to possibly confuse SkyDrive with BSkyB? Add to this that most (and by that 99%), of 'Merikans probably never heard of Sky to begin with, and I just don't see a case here. OTOH: Though Mr Murdock does own DirectTV over there... So why hasn't he thrown a tissy-fit over MicroSoft's missuse of the term DirectX yet? The "X" kinda implies a some Variable I'd find this to be way more confusing then Sky.

    Then again, MicroSoft should do the sensible thing, and rechristen SkyDrive, as CandyDrive....

    1. The Mole

      I'm not sure what the Americans have to do with it given that the legal case was all in the UK, it was up to Microsoft whether they just re-branded in the UK or worldwide (or indeed just remove the service from sale in the UK).

      Given 'Sky' is the trading name of BSkyB and is the way all there advertising and customers refers to there TV service, Sky Broadband' is the name of the ISP service, and 'Sky Go' is the name for there web TV service, it is understandable that people would assume 'Sky Drive' would be the name of their online storage solution and doesn't seem dense at all. I imagine that 90% of the customers would take a while to remember that BSkyB is the actually company name.

      As to your question regarding DirectTV, my guess is they don't own trademarks relating to general PC software, the markets aren't the same so any confusion doesn't matter and most importantly the general name people know DirectTV as is DirectTV and not 'Direct', BSkyB on the other hand has trademarks in providing Web based services, could sensibly launch an online storage solution (and may well in the future if they want to allow people to watch their recordings anywhere) and most importantly are generally known as 'Sky' by the general public.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Just because BSkyB is a wealthy corporation, I don't accept this argument that they are entitled to take a common and ancient word like 'sky' and appropriate it.

        Sky TV as a service fair enough but for a wider branding they should be required to choose something distinctive if they want it protected (e.g. a made up word like Microsoft), not an everyday word. Just as I can accept the Microsoft use of Windows as a name for an operating system but would be annoyed if they attempted to expand the scope of their claim into use of the word window elsewhere.

        1. Squander Two

          Trademark law

          > I don't accept this argument that they are entitled to take a common and ancient word like 'sky' and appropriate it.

          But they have done no such thing. You can use the word "Sky" to your heart's content without their permission. Authors can use it in books -- hey, they can even use it in titles. The producers of the film "Skyfall" were not sued, obviously.

          Furthermore, being a wealthy company has nothing to do with it. You can take out a trademark, if you like. Takes some time and some legal fees, but not massive wealth and you don't need to be a company. A student at my university took out a trademark on "21st Century Fox". (True story. Made lots of money.)

          All trademark law does is prevent confusion among customers. And customers were confused: Sky customer service were getting calls from customers asking about Skydrive. Remember, most people don't set up their own PCs and routers and so on. People are given a PC with a Sky broadband connection, a Sky Go service, and a Skydrive on it. Conflating them is hardly a stupid mistake.

          And there's no point viewing Microsoft as victims in this just 'cause they lost the case. Trademarks work both ways: Microsoft have been prevented from being associated with BSkyB's next major fuck-up.

          If you want to see a really good example of how all this works, look up the history of the Apple vs Apple case, another common everyday word that's a trademark. Neither company owns the word "Apple", only its commercial use in certain clearly defined contexts.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trademark law

            Microsoft made up a word skydrive and their hearts are not content. That Skyfall wasn't taken to court as well says nothing in itself. Malicious use of trademark law to blackmail a company and make lot of money is hardly an advert for how the trademark system is working.

            If Sky are confusing their customers by using a common English word to describe their services they should use more distinctive language for their product names - easy. If I make a product titled Skybox Editor to edit backgrounds for video games (where skybox is an established technical term) by your reasoning PC users with Sky broadband could get it confused with BSkyB products or services so Sky would be entitled to sue me.

            My point was if you trademark a common word, a reasonable person would not expect the trademark to be relevant except in a narrow context. The court seems to have stretched this notion beyond reasonable and I don't quite understand why you think this is a good thing.

            1. Squander Two

              Re: Trademark law

              > If Sky are confusing their customers by using a common English word to describe their services ...

              But they're not. Sky customers do not confuse BSkyB's services with the actual sky, do not confuse them with Skyholidays.com, did not confuse them with the films "Skyfall" or "Vanilla Sky", and don't confuse them with records released by Skye Edwards. iPad owners are not confused about whether their devices were manufactured by actual edible fruit. People don't accidentally book river cruises down Katie Price. The confusion you are referring to does not exist: people are perfectly capable of distinguishing between nouns and proper nouns and trademarks. Where confusion can occur, and can cost people money, is between competing trademarks in the same context, which is why there's an arbitration process to sort such matters out.

              > Microsoft made up a word skydrive and their hearts are not content.

              Microsoft picked a brand name that was OK in the US but not in the UK. They then faced the choice of rebranding in the UK only or worldwide, and chose to do so worldwide. This is such a common ordinary event for companies that trade in multiple jurisdictions that I doubt they give much of a damn, to be honest.

              > a reasonable person would not expect the trademark to be relevant except in a narrow context. The court seems to have stretched this notion beyond reasonable

              A lot of BSkyB's business revolves around allowing their users to access files from the cloud. They don't allow uploads, yet. Seems like a very minor difference to me.

              > If I make a product titled Skybox Editor to edit backgrounds for video games (where skybox is an established technical term) by your reasoning PC users with Sky broadband could get it confused with BSkyB products or services so Sky would be entitled to sue me.

              No, by my reasoning it all depends on the context of the use. Sounds like a very interesting case.

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