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Microsoft Officially Launches OneDrive Cloud Storage

Microsoft on Wednesday officially transitioned its SkyDrive cloud storage to the new OneDrive, though Windows 8 users will have to wait a bit longer to access the rebranded service.

Users of the old SkyDrive service can switch to OneDrive by logging in to OneDrive.com. According to Microsoft's instructions, to switch from SkyDrive to OneDrive, users must go to the app store of their device platform and install the OneDrive app from there. However, a search for OneDrive in Microsoft's Windows Store indicated the app was nowhere to be found.

As a Microsoft spokesperson explained, those who use Windows 8 will have to wait a few months for a system update. "Because OneDrive is built into the OS, OneDrive will be updated in Windows in the coming months," the spokesperson said.

Likewise, if a user tries to download OneDrive on a Windows 7 PC, it will re-install SkyDrive.

[Click on image for larger view.] The OneDrive interface.

Other than the new name, OneDrive looks identical to SkyDrive, which Microsoft agreed to rename last summer after a British court ruled it infringed on a trademark held by Sky Broadcasting Group. Microsoft last month revealed OneDrive as the new name for the service following the ruling.

The new OneDrive also includes real-time co-authoring when used with Office 365, allowing for simultaneous edits of Word, Excel or PowerPoint files. An additional new feature includes taking advantage of Android cameras for backup -- a feature already included with iOS and Windows Phone devices.

Microsoft still offers 7 GB of storage free of charge. On Wednesday, the company said it will offer an additional 3 GB to those who use the camera backup feature. For those who purchase additional storage, Microsoft is now offering monthly billing rather than requiring customers to pay a one-time fee.

The SkyDrive Pro service for SharePoint users will be renamed OneDrive for Business. Microsoft said it will disclose plans for that service at next month's SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas.

About the Author

Jeffrey Schwartz is editor of Redmond magazine and also covers cloud computing for Virtualization Review's Cloud Report. In addition, he writes the Channeling the Cloud column for Redmond Channel Partner. Follow him on Twitter @JeffreySchwartz.