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  • Meet Microsoft's New Cloud Storage Service (Kind Of!)
Technology Articles > Software > Network & Internet > Meet Microsoft's New Cloud Storage Service (Kind Of!)

Microsoft rebranded its cloud storage service today. Now, the old 'SkyDrive' service is called 'OneDrive.' To commemorate the change (brought about by a lawsuit), Microsoft is giving away free storage to 100,000 users that enter Microsoft's giveaway contest this afternoon (check out the company's main site or social sites).

Those 100,000 new users will get an additional 100 Gbytes of free storage - in addition to the 7 Gbytes that users automatically get when they sign up for the service.

How does OneDrive compare to Dropbox? Here's a closer look.

OneDrive VS Dropbox

Dropbox begins every subscription with 2GB of free storage. But, it's really easy to earn additional storage space by storing more items, sharing with friends, and doing other little things. After that, you can purchase a Pro Dropbox account for as little as $9.99 per month.

The old SkyDrive didn't allow you to get additional free space, but Microsoft has changed this with SkyDrive. Now, much like Dropbox, you can get additional free space through OneDrive by doing a bunch of little things. You can also purchase additional OneDrive storage space now. Microsoft offers the cheapest upgrades (thus far) at just $10 per year.

What Is OneDrive?

Essentially, OneDrive is the backup cloud storage option across Windows phone, Xbox One, and Windows 8.1. You can access all of your OneDrive folders and files through any PC running OneDrive. Today, users will gain additional space just by turning on a phone or signing up for a OneDrive account, but that's not how the service started. Rebranding, it seems, is a really good thing in Microsoft's case - even if it was forced.

Why The Change?

Microsoft lost a legal battle with BSkyB this past July. BSkyB has a product called SkyDrive that was developed and patented before Microsoft's version. As such, the ruling judge in the case ordered that Microsoft rebrand. Which, in turn, gave the massive company plenty of room to make the service better than it was before (clever, PR, Microsoft, clever!).

So, should you use it? Along with OneDrive, you can snag free version of Microsoft program apps like One Note, Word, Excel, and others. These freebies might be one reason to test out what OneDrive has to offer.

OneDrive can also be accessed through any browser on any OS (but that's not really unique). It's also worth nothing that OneDrive will let you upload any kind of file to the system (any file), and that's a lot simpler than messing around with file formats as some cloud services require.

Where to Test It Out

As mentioned, OneDrive launches today, and you can go directly to the OneDrive site to give it a whirl. Microsoft is betting on stealing some Google and Dropbox clients, so you may want to sign up today if you want to win some extra storage and try an alternative to what Google and Dropbox are offering.

Microsoft, it seems, has done a good thing by rebranding SkyDrive to OneDrive. Will you give this new cloud service a shot?