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Microsoft Cloud Data Storage News

Microsoft Will Have To Rename SkyDrive 274

SmartAboutThings writes "A month ago, Microsoft was involved in a legal battle in the United Kingdom, when the court found that there was a conflict between Microsoft's SkyDrive and a trademark owned by the British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB). Back then, the UK court ruled that Microsoft was infringing the BSkyB's trademark. And now we have confirmation that Microsoft will be forced to change the SkyDrive brand name. This is quite a big branding issue for Microsoft. What are they going to call it? DriveSky? And chances are that the name change will be worldwide and not only in the United Kingdom."
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Microsoft Will Have To Rename SkyDrive

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  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:01PM (#44437713) Journal

    or just F-Drive; C and D are your disk drives; E is the USB drive; so F-Drive is the Cloud storage drive letter.

    • by isama ( 1537121 )


    • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )

      A lot of companies map the H: drive to the user's home folder. HDrive.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sorry, but on my machine, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, Q, R, S, Y, and Z, are already in use.

      Instead, they should make it A:\ -- and when it goes down for some reason, the error message can be:

      Not ready reading drive A
      Abort, Retry, Fail?

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:02PM (#44437721) Homepage Journal

    Data in, nothing out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:03PM (#44437727)

    MeTooDrive or Me2Drive. Since Microsoft only copies things that others do at this point, they should just grab the Me2 prefix to replace the G or i from all of Google's and Apple's products.

    • Re:How about... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Desler ( 1608317 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:21PM (#44437987)

      SkyDrive (formerly Windows Live Folders when it came out in August 2007) predates Google Drive by 5 years, Apples iCloud by 4 years and DropBox by a year. So how exactly is it a "me too" service?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hudsucker ( 676767 )

        SkyDrive (formerly Windows Live Folders when it came out in August 2007) predates Google Drive by 5 years, Apples iCloud by 4 years and DropBox by a year. So how exactly is it a "me too" service?

        Because Apple first introduced the iDisk in 2000.

        (iDisk was part of iTools, which became .Mac, then MobileMe, and finally iCloud. iDisk was dropped in iCloud, and the iCloud storage is not comparable in functionality.)

      • Re:How about... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @05:06PM (#44440195) Homepage

        Also, much as I might like some Microsoft bashing, I think it's dumb to criticize a technology company for copying others. In science and technology, you're *supposed* to build off of other people's work. Otherwise, you're reinventing the wheel.

        So if you're going to criticize Microsoft for copying others, it only makes sense to me if they make a substandard copy that offers no advantages. Even if it's an equivalent copy to the best thing around, that's still doing a pretty good job.

    • by dintech ( 998802 )
      Windows ME 2?
  • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

    it's got s.k.y on it right there, tells the truth and sky-tv can't claim it.

  • by middlemen ( 765373 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:07PM (#44437793) Homepage
    NSADrive !!!!!
  • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:07PM (#44437803)
    Anything without the word Sky in it. So not "DriveSky"

    Synonyms: blast, breath, breeze, draft, heavens, ozone, puff, sky, stratosphere, troposphere, ventilation, waft, whiff, wind, zephyr

    ZephyrDrive, PuffDrive, BreezeDrive

  • by Freshly Exhumed ( 105597 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:08PM (#44437817) Homepage

    This happened before with the XBox name. It is difficult to believe that a company like Microsoft, bolstered by batteries of lawyers with copyright, patent, and trademark expertise, could have pulled such a boneheaded move. Were they playing legal chicken with the Brits, or did they really, truly screw up?

    • Given how badly they screwed up the actual XBox hardware? Less reliable and more overheating problems than most laptops.

    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:40PM (#44438247)
      Because it is not cut and dried. You can't just search for "SkyDrive" and then be safe. "Sky" claims it owns anything that starts with "Sky" in the same way that Microsoft claimed "Windows," and Apple claimed the letter "i"! [] (though they lost in the end... uh, at least in Australia?)
    • European trademarks have always been a problem for U.S. companies, and vice versa. Except most European companies have the foresight to see if their product violates U.S. trademark before launching it there, and rebrand as necessary.

      U.S. companies instead just go ahead and ram their products through without even looking. Then they wonder why they're getting sued for trademark infringement.

      And on the same topic, Microsoft could name it Ding.

    • What happened is that they were naive about the Brit's totally bullshit trademark law. Nobody, unless they're a lawyer or have done litigation with Brits in the past, would ever suspect that "SkyDrive" could possibly infringe the trademark of a company which does not sell any product or service called "SkyDrive." The Brits have an asinine law and their people need to kick their government's ass.

      That said, Microsoft does have lawyers, and almost certain has litigated with Brits in the past, so they should

      • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 )

        What about Sky Broadband or Sky Subscriber services? Kind sounds like a product they might offer. And they're both parts of BSkyB.

  • Easy to fix (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Fixed with one easy change of letter: SpyDrive.

  • CloudDrive

    I just pulled those out of my ass in about 30 seconds and all of them appear to be taken already, but I'm sure someone in MS marketing can come up with something original, or they can license one they like. A new name won't be a huge problem, the bigger problem is any name recognition they had is gone.

    Also, DriveSky doesn't solve anything because it was the use of the word Sky in the name that caused the trademark problems.

    • Hmm...

      How about NoDrive? It expresses my sentiment -and- manages to sound neat and cloudy.

      • Huh... that actually does sound cool. Quick google search brings up a sourceforge project called NoDrives that allows you to hide drives using registry keys. Not sure if that would be a problem or not.

  • Confusion (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tailhook ( 98486 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:12PM (#44437873)

    How many Microsoft SkyDrive users will be confused by the rename of this product and switch to Dropbox?


  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:20PM (#44437967)
    What is interesting is that BSkyB doesn't have a "SkyDrive" product but many products named "Sky" that are in the same product category.
    • It depends on how closely the names are conceptually related within a fairly narrow field of use. For people in the UK, the "Sky" name is conceptually welded to the BSkyB entity in the field of consumer electronic services via network. No surprise MS got slapped.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by mrbester ( 200927 )

        No one in UK apart from a stupid judge and a bunch of opportunistic lawyers confuses Sky from BSkyB with SkyDrive from Microsoft. Perhaps it should change to easyDrive as no one would confuse a cloud service with a car hire company either.

        • by hondo77 ( 324058 )

          Nobody expects consumer to confuse SkyDrive with BSkyB. Sky is arguing consumers will confuse SkyDrive with Sky's products [] like Sky TV, Sky Broadband, Sky Talk, Sky 3D, Sky Go, etc. and think that SkyDrive is made by BSkyB instead of Microsoft.

  • by BLToday ( 1777712 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:21PM (#44437989)

    Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Home Edition
    Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Premium Edition
    Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Enterprise Edition

    • Nah. They'll have Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Tablet Edition (also available for desktops...and also the only one you can use on desktops).

    • by tgd ( 2822 )

      Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Home Edition
      Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Premium Edition
      Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Enterprise Edition

      Live Mesh was the traditional name when they launched it six years ago.

    • Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Home Edition Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Premium Edition Microsoft Cloud Drive Storage Enterprise Edition

      Chair drive is better.

  • by tehlinux ( 896034 )

    >chances are that the name change will be worldwide and not only in the United Kingdom

    I doubt that very much.

    • by dingen ( 958134 )

      It has already been confirmed that indeed SkyDrive will be renamed worldwide.

  • Sky vs Windows (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft must have realized that arguing "Sky" is a generic word, so is "Windows". That means they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by arguing that Sky (and thus Windows) isn't trademark-able.

  • Weesh... weesh... we should name it Bob! ', the intern suggested loudly with unbridled enthusiasm.

  • by Keruo ( 771880 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:42PM (#44438275)
    What about Skype?
    It's old and established name for a product but it's run by Microsoft now, are they forced to rebrand it too?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @02:46PM (#44438355)

    Why do I see all of the anti-MS posts? Yeah, MS has been a bastard many times, but to be swatted because they dared to use the term "sky" for their product when some other company that doesn't make anything close to the same product also used "sky" in their names is asinine. I'm sure Sky has been used in product names and company names before bskyb. You're an idiot if you think this is just fine.

  • Drive of Sauron

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MaWeiTao ( 908546 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:10PM (#44438667)

    I'm seeing a bit too much anti-Microsoft bias here. If we weren't talking about Microsoft I'm pretty sure we'd all be outraged by that court's decision, especially given the reaction on Slashdot to similar cases in the past.

    Where was Microsoft irresponsible here? Who in their right mind would have thought that SkyDrive infringed on British Sky Broadcasting Group? Does any company or service with "sky" in the name also infringe? What about SkyTrain? Or Delta Sky Miles?

    I fail to see how Microsoft did anything wrong here.

    I've done naming for companies in the past and it can be an excruciating process. I'm pretty sure a company as big as Microsoft isn't cavalier about naming. If my clients are any indication, their own lawyers are a huge pain in the ass for the internet teams to deal with. They're specifically paid to be thorough and attuned to every little risk. I can't imagine how much more difficult it will be now coming up with a new name with the heightened sensitivity to even the remotest of infringement. I certainly wouldn't want to be on that naming team.

    • Actually the court decision is in Microsoft's best interest. They were loosing customers due to the name ambiguity.

      Just the other day I got a Win8 laptop and when I saw the SkyDrive I thought: I ain't uploading to no SkyDrive and have those pesky Brits broadcast my stuff all over the place! Get your own goddamn data!

    • by lennier ( 44736 )

      Who in their right mind would have thought that SkyDrive infringed on British Sky Broadcasting Group?

      I dunno, the same people who might think that Apple Computer infringed on Apple Corps when they started selling music?

      Of course Windows doesn't play movies and BSkyB isn't in the business of transmitting information, so there isn't likely to be any conflict between the two services.


  • They will buy BSkyB, keep calling SkyDrive SkyDrive, and then kill BSkyB.
  • ...cause nobody outside of the UK gives a shit about Sky, and I am sure a few in the UK feel the same way.

  • by marciot ( 598356 ) on Wednesday July 31, 2013 @03:33PM (#44438955)

    They could go with the highly successful WindowsRT campaign and call it "DriveRT"

  • Nope, that's the brand name of that new flying car on display at Airventure this week.

  • "This is quite a big branding issue for Microsoft."

    Oh yeah, I'm sure the owners of, MSN Search/Windows Live Search/Bing, and MSN Messenger/Windows Live Messenger/Office Communicator/Lync are lying in bed awake at night over this.

  • Call it DevNull. Because that's what will eventually happen when you store your data "in the cloud".

  • MS had quite a catchy name there. I do find it odd that the article said nothing about Sky Broadcasting having a trademark on (or even using) "SkyDrive" - it seems that they're claiming ownership over anything with the word "sky" in it, and that MS is conceding. Yikes.

  • with a name like that, it must be good!

  • What about MS Cloud? That matches their Word processor.

  • Is IoneSkyeDrive taken?
  • Seems to have worked before

  • Windows, Word. SQL Server,..

    I suggest "Microsoft Cloud".

  • I know we all hate MS here, but doesn't it worry you that you can't have a product name with the word Sky in it.

    I mean if MS renamed themselves to SkySoft or something maybe...and even then...

    Seems like we just gave this company a bunch of free publicity that wasn't actually being harmed. Was anyone confused by the names?

  • They will just call it The Cloud and take advantage of all the free material advertising use of "The Cloud". Think of all the presentations you've seen with "The Cloud" - yup, that is Microsoft! Kind of like they did with "SQL Server" back in the day.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors