Microsoft launches OneDrive, gives away extra storage

In the aftermath of a patent dispute, Microsoft announced last month that SkyDrive, its cloud storage service, would be rebranded as OneDrive. Today, the rebranding took effect, as did some policy tweaks that will see some lucky users get extra storage capacity for free.

OneDrive still gives folks 7GB of storage to start with. Paid-for upgrade plans are available, but now, so are free upgrades based on referrals and usage of the automatic camera backup feature for Android:

Customers who refer friends can now receive up to 5 GB (in 500 MB increments) for each friend who accepts an invitation to OneDrive, and we’ll even give you 3 GB just for using the camera backup feature, since we want to help make sure you never lose another photo. There’s even a new monthly payment plan, if you’d like a little more flexibility in how you use your storage.

On top of that, Microsoft says it plans to give 100GB of free storage space to 100,000 people. The company doesn't specify how or when, though. "Keep an eye on @OneDrive for clues" is all the announcement says.

Even with those free upgrades, the basic OneDrive plan still looks a tad stingy compared to Google Drive, which serves up 15GB of capacity by default. Still, the integration with Windows is handy, and it's nice to see Microsoft take more of an interest in cloud services. Considering Microsoft's new CEO hails from the company's cloud and enterprise group, there's probably more where that came from.

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