So, Microsoft has finally announced that the SkyDrive cloud storage product line is to be renamed OneDrive. This isn't as a result of disappointing user take up leading to a re-branding exercise, it's much more daft than that. Six months ago a judge in a UK court ruled that Microsoft had to drop the name after 17 people contacted BskyB, which owns the Sky TV brand, thinking it also owned SkyDrive.

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This despite the fact that if those 17 hard of thinking folk had looked at the website they might just have noticed the Microsoft branding. This despite the fact that if the hard of thinking judge had thought about it he might have realised that 17 people does not "a likelihood of confusion in the average consumer" make.

Seriously, 17 idiots got confused by something because it had 'sky' in the name and the courts said that Microsoft had to make a change? Who are these people, and do they think that a satellite TV outfit also arranges parachute jumps (Sky Diving) and sits in on company meetings pitching in suggestions (Blue Sky Thinking)? Maybe the judge involved in making that original decision needs to get in touch with Microsoft again, after all maybe people will think that OneDrive is a car sponsored by a boy band or be confused when they sign up that it doesn't involve flying past a cuckoo's nest.

Anyway, the deed is done. Or at least it will be soon. The OneDrive name has been chosen and announced, the re-branding will start sometime real soon now. Ryan Gavin, General Manager for Consumer Apps and Services at Microsoft, says that the company believes "the new OneDrive name conveys the value we can deliver for you and best represents our vision for the future. We are excited about what is to come, and can’t wait to share more." Let's hope those 17 folk who were the catalyst for this pointless exercise in corporate muscle-flexing don't sign up; they would probably wonder how to get their clouds out of storage should they need some shade...

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About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to Forbes.com, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...

As someone has pointed out already, quite correctly, the accompanying image should say 18 idiots as you have to include the judge. Or maybe 19 if you include Microsoft for not telling him to go take a running jump from a tall building...

I just don't get why Microsoft rolled over into submission so easily!! Has some one in Sky got some dirt or something? Hmmm.....Sky Drive was a great brand name and I have feelings about this. I've been using it since the Windows Live thing happened!

Things like this serve to support the notion that Apple users are more intelligent. As far as I am aware, it is not recorded that anyone has gone to a greengrocer for Apple products.
Ok, there is that brilliant BBC skit with Ronnie Corbett....

Seen it. Love it.

rubberman commented: Post a link? :-) +12

Hi Roger, good to see you on DaniWeb! Yep, quite how Microsoft rolled over without appeal on this is beyond me. The BskyB corporate pages claim there are 10.5 million Sky TV subscribers. Out of which just 17 contacted them claiming to be confused about the ownership of SkyDrive. As a percentage point there are way too many leading zeroes for that to be considered in any way relevant I would have thought.

17 people called Sky TV about SkyDrive
x time required to say "Sorry sir/mam, SkyDrive is run by Microsoft, please call them."
<= 5 minutes of lost employee time for Sky TV

Why this would make it to court == a complete mystery.

I wonder if any of these people also asked if they could only access their cloud storage on cloudy days or if it still worked on a sunny day.

It seems there is more to the story. Apparently One.com, which offers cloud storage solutions under the name 'Cloud Drive' says that OneDrive will lead to confusion. One.com has been providing cloud storage for approximately three years.

Microsoft should retaliate by closing down all double-glazing outfits which use the word 'windows' in their names and have websites. It's just as plain daft.

Yeah, that's right, I never thought of that. Imagine all the aggrevation that Microsoft has caused to people who have googled for information on:

"Good products to clean windows"
"Guide to repairing windows"
"Windows maintenance"
"How to keep bugs away from windows"
...

I smell a class action lawsuit...

Good thread! Best laugh all day! :-) Thanks folks. My company has been purchased by MS (the deal hasn't cleared yet, but will soon), and WE are confused by the change. 1/2 of our discussions mention "SkyDrive" and 1/2 "OneDrive". Begs the question, just who's on first (sic)?

FWIW, here is a great description of the term SIC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sic
So, I think it is apropros in this context. :-)

This is the problem with intellectual property. Too many judges favor the owners of intellectual property over others who come up with similar products or names. This is giving too many entities monopoly powers.

Nobody should be able to own any word that is in the dictionary.

Thank's For Your Information ... Realy It's a Great Post .. Thank's to again Sir & I hope Next Time you post will be Better than other's post .. ..

I always wondered why they ever called it 'Skydrive' in the first place - what was wrong with 'online storage', 'net storage', or 'web storage'?
As for the 'cloud'--- isn't a cloud just a temporary store of water vapour?
Do we really need more sophistry in our ridiculously busy lives? There are far too many buzzwords already, don't you think?
As for intellectual property rights, that is probably one of the reasons that MS did not fight this ruling - they are an intellectual property company after all, and are quick to take legal action to defend their intellectual property.

So law rules the world.

British Sky also should be required to change their name as I keep confusing them with The SkyWriters, Crystal Sky, Sky Brazil, and Western Sky.

Oh, and how could I have forgotten Skype, Oceansky Aircraft Interiors, Safeskys Ltd, Skydrift Ltd, Skyforce Avionics Ltd, Skyline Aviation Ltd, and Skyquest Ltd? The latter six companies are UK based. Enormous confusion. Time for that judge to clean up the mess.

If anyone owns the intellectual property of "Sky" is has to be American TV NBC who ran the TV series "Sky King" in the early 1950s. It was a ratio broadcase before that.