After some delay, Microsoft finally introduced the newly renamed OneDrive this week. But the renaming of the company’s cloud storage service once called SkyDrive has proven to be more than that. Microsoft is also taking the opportunity to turn an embarrassing legal defeat into a big marketing campaign with new features.
Topping the features list is the huge amount of free space that Microsoft is literally throwing at you. First off, there’s 3GB of storage that comes with the automatic camera upload feature. Then there’s another 20GB for users who follow a special bonus link, valid within the first year. Then there’s 500MB for every person you successfully refer to OneDrive.
Those of you who had SkyDrive installed on your phones don’t need to uninstall or reinstall anything. Your phones will silently update and the app will change without any input from you.
Other features include video sharing and viewing, automatic camera roll backup for Android phone owners, and real-time collaboration with Office Web apps Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.
OneDrive is baked directly into Windows 8.1 and Office. You can even set OneDrive as the default save location for your files. In doing so, Microsoft is sending a clear signal that the days of the PC are numbered, and that cloud computing is the future.
Watch this video overview from Microsoft outlining some of the features of the new OneDrive cloud storage platform:
OneDrive is currently beating rival cloud storage services with its prices. 100GB with Skydrive comes to $50 a year, while its nearest rival, Google Drive, comes in at $60 a year for the same amount of storage. Box and Dropbox trail far behind at $120 a year for 100GB.