My company (Amenfis Communications) is a Microsoft Cloud Solutions partner, and though we have no real need to, we’ve found it prudent to use some of Microsoft’s cloud services internally just so we can have real experience with the products, and thereby be able to offer better support to our clients.

Needless to say the Microsoft stuff is a tiny fraction of what we do, and as such I don’t pay much attention to what happens in that part of the tehnosphere. So I was surprised when, seemingly out of the blues, I received an email announcing OneDrive as the new name for Microsoft’s admittedly decent online storage service we all know as SkyDrive.

Why The SkyDrive to OnDrive Re-branding?

Despite all the fun we IT folks, especially those of us deep in the *nix and open source world, like to poke about Microsoft and the Windows operating systems, the company makes a lot of good, even great, stuff. They couldn’t have grown so big if millions of people and corporations did not find value in what they offer.

But one thing the Redmond, Washington company seems to have trouble with is brand consistency when it comes to its online services. The search engine we know today as Bing was originally called MS Search. Then it was re-branded as Windows Live Search. Then Live Search.

SkyDrive was previously known as Windows Live SkyDrive, and before then Windows Live Folders. And now OneDrive. I won’t even go into the whole Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail and Windows Live Hotmail confusion.

This time though, it appears Microsoft didn’t have a choice but to stop using the fairly established SkyDrive brand. The reason? Last year the company lost a UK lawsuit filed by the British broadcaster, British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB), who owns the trademarked name “Sky”. Rather than appeal or settle, Microsoft decided to re-brand, just as they did with the “Metro” name for it’s Windows 8 apps and design language to avoid a lawsuit.

What About SkyDrive Pro? Is there OneDrive Pro?

For business users using Office 365 and SharePoint Online, note that there’s no OneDrive Pro. SkyDrive Pro has been re-branded as OneDrive for Business. That said, the desktop and mobile clients are currently haven’t experienced the brand-wash yet, they’re still available as Skydrive Pro.

What Should You Do To Switch Over?

Nothing. That’s right, you don’t need to take any action at all to transition from SkyDrive to OneDrive. This is a simple branding change, and should not have any impact on users. So just continue to use the service as you always have: your online account has already switched over, and next time your desktop or mobile software updates itself, you’ll see OneDrive (or OneDrive for Business) instead of SkyDrive (or SkyDrive Pro).

Never used SkyDrive before? You can signup for the re-branded service at OneDrive.com and get 7GB of online storage for free. And if you’re one of those who have succumbed to Microsoft’s dirty tactics to get people to search with Bing, you can even convert some of your Bing / Microsoft Points into OneDrive storage, up to a total of 100GB.