Microsoft has big plans for SkyDrive. The company's cloud service was named as one of the central pillars to its strategy during the announcement of its big restructuring. Too bad Microsoft won't be able to use the name anymore.
The Verge reports that Microsoft has agreed to change the name of its SkyDrive to something else after losing a trademark lawsuit brought by the Sky Broadcasting Group. At the time, it was thought that Microsoft would settle with Sky to continue using the name. It seemed unlikely Microsoft would just abandon the brand it had been using since 2008.
Microsoft may be relinquishing the SkyDrive name, but it does't have to do so immediately. The two companies jointly announced that Microsoft would be able to use the SkyDrive name for a " reasonable period of time to allow for an orderly transition to a new brand." It's unknown how long Microsoft has to change the name, but we'll probably see a new name by the end of the quarter.
Later this year, Microsoft will be launching Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. Both will feature SkyDrive in various capacities, and using a brand that will change only two months into launch isn't a smart move. Microsoft has to prepare a new name by the launch of its two flagship products so as to mitigate any potential consumer confusion.
Of course, all of this may seem incredibly familiar to you. That's because Microsoft was caught up in a similar trademark dispute last year over its Metro branding. German company Metro AG said Microsoft's Metro branding infringed upon its trademark. The legal tussle forced Microsoft to change the name of its new interface from Metro to "Windows 8 Style UI."
If Microsoft follows Metro's example, Xbox One users may soon be uploading gameplay sessions to something boring sounding like Microsoft Cloud Services.