Microsoft Forced to Rename SkyDrive

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft SkyDrive is no more. However, it's not a case of Microsoft phasing out its popular cloud storage service -- instead, the firm is simply being forced to rename it after losing a trademark case.

British Sky Broadcasting (or BSkyB, as it's often called) originally filed suit against Microsoft in 2011. It argued that the "Sky" portion of its own name could easily be confused with Microsoft's SkyDrive.

Therefore, BSkyB said Microsoft had infringed on its trademark.

Microsoft fought the matter in the English High Court but lost the case in June 2013. Now, an appeal by the Redmond, Washington-based firm has also failed.

Microsoft Given "Reasonable Period of Time" to Change Name

The consequences: first, Microsoft will be forced to ditch the SkyDrive name. That means completely changing promotional materials and making consumers familiar with a new name.

Second, Microsoft will have to pay BSkyB some kind of a settlement, though no one knows how much money that will involve.

It's expected British Sky Broadcasting will give Microsoft a "reasonable period of time" to phase out the SkyDrive name. (Source:

This is hardly the first time a prominent Microsoft tool or service has been renamed because of a trademark dispute. The firm was also forced to move away from the "Metro" name for Windows 8's new user interface (UI) because of complaints by German firm Metro AG.

Nowadays, Microsoft usually uses the term 'Modern' to refer to Windows 8's UI.

Replacement Name Remains Unknown

Microsoft says the name issue won't significantly affect how SkyDrive operates. However, the firm has yet to announce a new name for the service.

"We're glad to have resolution of this naming dispute, and will continue to deliver the great service our hundreds of millions of customers expect, providing the best way to always have your files with you," Microsoft said in a recent statement. (Source:

Obviously, the biggest challenge for Microsoft will involve introducing a new name without confusing consumers.

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