Cloud Computing

Users of Microsoft’s SkyDrive Pro cloud storage for business service were greeted today with a new name on the Web site: It’s now called OneDrive for Business after Microsoft struck a deal with British Sky Broadcasting last month in a dispute over the right to use the name “sky”.

Microsoft has also renamed its SkyDrive service for consumers OneDrive as well.

Cloud storage services have become ubiquitous after the smashing success of DropBox. Today a number of startups offer them, with veteran software companies like Citirx and EMC joining in as people use them for uploading big files for later retrival rather than send as email attachments.

But because they are aimed at consumers they are a security risk, prompting a number of services to offer versions with security that might appeal to enterprises.

OneDrive for Business, which works through Office 365 but can be used on Android, Google as well as Windows devices, complies with a number of global security standards including ISO 27001 and gives  IT managers control over external sharing of documents, offline synchronization and access control.

Microsoft said more OneDrive for Business news will be revealed at next month’s SharePoint Conference.

As part of the name change Microsoft added new OneDrive features including automatic camera backup for Android and the ability to share and view videos as it does photos.

Consumer subscribers who refer friends can now get up to 5 GB (in 500 MB increments) in addition to the 7 GB of free storage they get for each friend who signs up for OneDrive, plus an additional 3 GB  for using the camera backup feature.

There’s also a new monthly payment plan for those who want more storage.

Finally, to celebrate the new moniker Microsoft is giving 100,000 subscribers who use their accounts an additional 100 GB of storage for a year.




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