If you have a Windows Live account or Outlook as its going by these days then you would have received an email from Microsoft early in February announcing the change from SkyDrive to OneDrive. “New name, same great service”, the announcement reads. OneDrive was made globally available on February 19, 2014 according to their blog. Apparently, the new name is much more aligned with Microsoft’s vision for the future. If you’re thinking that this has Satya Nadella written all over it then you’re right. Although the new Microsoft CEO was only appointed on February 4, he was still officially the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group on January 27 when OneDrive plans were publicised.
The big deal is that Microsoft is giving away a lot of space to promote this transition. I would strongly suggest taking advantage because once the service becomes mainstream, if it does, the free space won’t be so generous any more. Simple economics. We are talking 7 GB to start with. Customers who refer friends can receive up to 5 GB (in 500 MB increments) for each friend who accepts an invitation to OneDrive. Additionally, 3 GB is allocated just for using the camera backup feature.
Essentially, OneDrive allows you to back-up all your precious memories and documents in the cloud. A cloud service is any resource that is provided over the Internet. Therefore, it can be accessed anywhere and any time there is internet connectivity.
It turns out that Microsoft didn’t just wake up and decide to rename their cloud service. Apparently, Microsoft had to back down from its brawl with BSkyB, a broadcasting company, over the trademark of the Sky name.
Comparatively, Dropbox currently only starts you off with 2GB free space as a first time user and then more opportunities to expand your storage by fulfilling certain conditions like inviting friends and downloading the app on various devices. On the other hand, with iCloud you get 5GB of free storage with the basic account by default. Additionally, Apple offers either 10, 20, or 50 extra GB’s per year for a fixed annual subscription.
Most cloud serivices work in a similar fashion. For a more detailed description, please refer to the DropBox 411.