SOFTWARE RETOOLER Microsoft relaunched its cloud storage offering as Onedrive on Wednesday, and debuted a number of new features for the service.
Microsoft has been forced to rebrand the cloud data storage service that previously was known as Skydrive, following a lawsuit by Rupert Murdoch's British Sky Broadcasting that successfully defended its Sky trademark.
In addition to the new name, the relaunch debuts several new features that Microsoft hopes will lend it some traction in the crowded cloud marketplace, though most of these will seem familiar.
Onedrive introduces realtime co-authoring, as seen in Google Drive, meaning that groups can collaborate on documents in real time. Video can be shared and viewed from anywhere, as it is all transcoded on the fly, much like it is in Dropbox.
A new Android app will add to the auto-upload camera facilities like those already available through both Dropbox and Google Plus. This feature is already available to Windows phone users.
Most excitingly of all, as well as the free 7GB offering just like with Dropbox, users can now refer others to the Onedrive service in order to gain 500MB of additional storage per person.
To celebrate the launch, Microsoft will be giving away 100,000 one-year Onedrive subscriptions of 100GB. Clues to when the giveaway will take place will be given on Facebook and the Onedrive blog. This echoes the 100GB of free Google Drive storage given to purchasers of a new Chromebook.
Onedrive is available now for web users and on Android and iOS devices, with deep integration in Windows 8.1, just like Skydrive. µ