You know what product has a really good name? SkyDrive. It's clean, unique, and it conjures up the image of what it does – cloud storage. Well, now it's OneDrive, because everything is One-something now. It's not entirely Microsoft's fault, though – it's a trademark thing.

This move became necessary after UK broadcaster BSkyB took Microsoft to court over use of the word 'sky,' which it has a trademark on across Europe. The parties came to an agreement last summer that allowed Redmond to continue using the SkyDrive moniker while it made plans for a transition to a different name.

The new name will be rolling out to all the apps and web interfaces soon. Why the delay? Microsoft is promising OneDrive will be "everything you love about SkyDrive and more." There might be some new features to go with the name, but Microsoft hasn't detailed anything yet. Before you know it you'll be using the OneDrive app on your One Plus One.


Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • lbrfabio

    One....One everywhere.

    • Toblerone

      +1! ;-)

      • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

        Oh crap... The boys in Redmond may not have thought this one all the way through.

    • Anthony Tyson

      You forgot this

  • Danny Holyoake

    This is really ridiculous. You can't own a word.

    This is really, really stupid.

    • RyanWhitwam

      I'm sure Microsoft would tell you it owns the word 'Windows' in a number of context. It really depends on the situation.

      • Danny Holyoake

        If SkyDrive was related to TV or broadcasting in ANY way, I would agree that Sky had a case. This is just stupid.

        • Martha Walker

          Why not trademark "one" then?

        • mattj78

          Sky isn't just a TV company though. It's also a very large Broadband and telephone provider. It also provides many services via the internet. It has a betting company called Sky Bet, and a gaming company called Sky Vegas. It's a very widely used trademark.

      • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

        It doesn't depend on the situation, letting a company own a frequently used word is never a good thing.,, Whether Microsoft does it or not is a different issue.

        • Randroid

          Someone in a similar article posted a good list. I can't remember a lot of them but it included things such as Windows, Apple, and Sprint... All commonly used words that are trademarked as brand names.

          I actually agree with this one, as the company does offer other internet based services. The name "Sky Drive" could cause legitimate confusion among consumers who use other products with the "Sky" name.

          • trickytree1984

            Yes it does provide Internet services. My broadband is provided by Sky Fibre. On Sky fibre I watch on demand services from Sky Go, watch Sky sports, Sky Movies, Sky News, use Sky Bet, Sky Vegas and so on. When I'm out and about I use Sky Wifi, to set recording using Sky+.

            So you see, it's a very widely used trademark. I'm sure if it was the other way around, no one would think it stupid.

          • http://meatcastle.com/ Youre My Boy Bloo

            Yeah, but if we allow companies to do this (owning colloquial language) it is going to get to a point where a new company needs to come up with a name and the only choices left are going to be Taste Tickles, or Popplers...

            But seriously, brand recognition is not something that we should legislate and allow people to call "dibs" on; rather it should be something battled for and won in the marketplace. Not letting companies (no matter how old or well established) "squat" on names of things they are associated with gives them more incentive to be exceptional corporate citizens and gives a real reason to go out and fight for reputation every day.

            OK, and let's say I humor you and say a small company comes out and releases a product that is infringing on name: perhaps a small upstart decides they want to release an operating system alternative to Windows, and they want to call it "Window Frame", so fucking what? When consumer protection laws are so convoluted that they are an impediment to innovation in the marketplace they are defeating their own purpose and should be thrown out altogether.

          • Randroid

            To be honest, I AM starting a small startup, and it was extremely hard to come up with a name for my business AND my product that do not infringe on any existing trademarks.

            These trademarks are not impeding innovation, the patent trolls out there are. Trademarks are on names, patents are on ideas, they are completely different. Changing a name is a lot easier than coming up with a new idea.

            I have not yet patented my idea because there are few people who know what my idea is, and when it comes closer to reality I will have to file that patent. But the whole process is extremely expensive. I've already spent $1,000 on these legalities and I'm not even close to done. The bigger impedance to innovation is the cost of protection, not the problem of coming up with a new and unique name in whatever category you are competing.

            And yes, trademarks are done by category. So if I want to name a toy "sky flyer" I would likely not have an issue because these people likely do not own a trademark on the word "sky" in the category of toys. The trademark that I filed had to be filed in 2 categories so far.

    • Hive

      Microsoft can call it what they want. They days of me using ANY Microsoft product are long gone. The way they do business makes me physically sick.

      • Arthur Dent

        What is this, 1998?

        • Marcell Lévai

          He didn't say that this step is related to their business practices in any way. Only that renaming SkyDrive won't help him like Microsoft's products more.

          • Arthur Dent

            In that case, then, I change my reply to a hearty "Cool story, bro"

      • Randroid

        And Apple's business practices are better?

        • Marcell Lévai

          You know, there are plenty of alternatives to Microsoft's OS, not only Apple's. Have you heard about Linux?

          • Randroid

            1 alternative does not equal "plenty". Yes, there are multiple different "versions" of Linux, but it all boils down to Linux. Apple is the main competitor to Microsoft, especially in the consumer PC market (not in the server market)

        • http://dribbble.com/nickchamberlin Nick Chamberlin

          They're both just horrible

  • Mehmet Fatih


  • firesoul453

    I don't understand how skydrive is using their trademark.

  • jrop

    This reminds me of the whole King "candy" trademark stuff...ugh.

  • http://dabuxian.com/ Dabu

    Word "sky" is trademarked now? Why not trademark "one" then?

    • trickytree1984

      On Sky fibre I watch on demand services from Sky Go, watch Sky sports, Sky Movies, Sky News, use Sky Bet, Sky Vegas and so on. When I'm out and about I use Sky Wifi, to set recording using Sky+.

      So you see, it's a very widely used trademark. I'm sure if it was the other way around, no one would think it stupid.

      • falter

        But there is no sky drive or cloud storage service, so surely it should be sky who come up with a different name?

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Because "One" is a TM used by many companies (HTC, Ubuntu, OnePlus, even Microsoft's own Xbox division) while "Sky" is a one media network

  • Slawootsky

    Onepe: coming soon.

  • MrNinjaPanda

    I'm going to trademark all the vowels and I'll become a billionaire

    • sketaful

      I'm gonna trademark the colon. Then I get royalty each time anyone take a dump...

  • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

    You know, Microsoft should really shake-up their department that's responsible for branding/naming.

    I mean, Xbox One, now OneDrive... what's next? Windows One?

    • firesoul453

      Yep. It runs in the cloud.

      • David Spivey

        Insert obligatory "Yo dawg" joke here...

        One Drive is now part of the One Cloud. It offers you One storage space for Your Xbox One, Windows Phone One, Windows One PC, and Windows One Server. Create and edit documents in the One Cloud with Microsoft One Office. Make notes on the fly with Microsoft OneNote, and instantly see your notes synchronized everywhere at Onece. Interact with One Cloud services with your favorite browser Internet Explorer One. Communicate with friends face-to-face using Microsoft One-on-One Time (previously Skype). Program new applications with ease in the One Cloud leveraging the latest One.Net framework with Microsoft Visual One++ One.Net.

        • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

          Wow, just wow

  • beomagi

    I would have called it MS AirSpace.

    • sibu


  • Matthew Fry

    One is a registered trademark of Mathematics. They will be hearing from Mathematics' lawyers.

  • http://www.geordienorman.com/ George Byers

    What's with calling everything "one" these days. Xbox One, HTC One, Oppo N1....

    Maybe it's named one drive so they can do something like this in their xbox ads "now I game and edit spreadsheets thanks to one drive on my xbox one!"

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Don't forget the "One" device line from 2012, and newly-formed OnePlus company with OnePlus One being their first device... so, yeah

      Guess it's time to move on "Two"

  • firesoul453

    I'm going to make a game and call it Sky candy apple saga

    • Fatal1ty_93_RUS

      Well, get ready to meet the lawyers of these:
      - Sky.TV (for using "Sky"
      - Candy (for using the name of "Candy" that produces tech for houses like kitchen)
      - Apple (for, well, using "Apple")
      - King (for using "Saga)

      • firesoul453

        ya thats kinda the point lol.

      • Besbes Souhaieb


  • Dave

    Why not NSA derive? It will better describe it.

  • jurrabi

    Something is wrong with trademark law when it allows to trademark standard words.

    I'm sorry, but if you want your thing to be unique, call it something invented. You can't claim property of the sky!!!

  • Marcantony Lightyear

    You can put your email on the main page of onedrive to be notified, might be worth doing