Skydrive to be renamed

Microsoft loses a court battle – Skydrive is no more.

Microsoft has lost a court case regarding use of the term ‘Sky’ and is being forced to rename their ‘Skydrive’ cloud storage service to something else.

While the case was held in the UK and only covered use of the name in the European Union, Microsoft has decided to change the name globally.  

Microsoft decided not to appeal the judgment of Mrs Justice Asplin at the UK High Court. 

In exchange they’ve been granted an unspecified ‘grace period’ to make the changeover. 

The entire judgment is available online, in case you’re having trouble sleeping.

In the USA, the name ‘Sky’ means little, aside from the big blue expanse above our heads.

But in the UK and Europe ‘Sky’ is a big brand with variants on the name labeling cable and satellite TV plus broadband and internet services.  The main company is listed on the stock exchange with 21st Century Fox (formerly News Corp) it’s major shareholder.   In other words, it’s part of the (in)famous Rupert Murdoch empire.

There’s no word yet on the new name.  Whatever it is, it won’t help the confusion surrounding Microsoft many and jumbled cloud services. 

The new name will have to be checked for legal conflicts across the globe.  So it seems likely to be a variant on a name Microsoft already uses, much like the new online email service reused the existing Outlook name to become

Whatever is chosen, the new name has to be applied to all Microsoft’s web sites, programs (like Office 2013) and apps (such as Office Mobile for iPhone and Android) plus advertising.   A costly and messy exercise.

For Customers?

Aside from some name confusion during the changeover, there should be no effect on the actual Skydrive service. 

Hopefully there’ll be some agreement between Microsoft and Sky so that the domain name can remain with Microsoft and users redirected to a new domain name.  Otherwise many people, who don’t track Microsoft’s every move, will get very confused.

Any thoughts on the new name ?  

Maybe OfficeDrive is too obvious?   Following Windows Live – maybe LiveDrive  or  WindowsDrive ?

The cynical might prefer  LimitedDrive  given SkyDrive’s limited features and extendibility compared to more nimble competitors like Dropbox.

Both serious and not so serious ideas are welcome via our feedback page


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