Microsoft announces global launch of OneDrive free cloud data storage

Microsoft has globally launched its free cloud-based data storage service OneDrive - formally known as SkyDrive.

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Microsoft has globally launched its free cloud-based data storage service OneDrive - formally known as SkyDrive.

The SkyDrive brand for the service was dropped after Microsoft lost a trademark legal dispute with Sky TV owner BSkyB last year.

OneDrive gives people a place in the cloud to store photos, videos and documents that are accessible by various devices. It comes with updates and new features for Windows Phone-, iOS- and Android-based devices, as well as for the Xbox gaming console.

OneDrive offers 7GB of free storage. "When someone picks up their phone, tablet or any other device, they just want all of their favourite photos and the documents they need at their fingertips - they don't want to have to hunt for them," said Chris Jones, corporate vice president for OS services at Microsoft.

"That's the lens we are taking with OneDrive. We're building it right into all of the latest Microsoft devices and services, but we're also making sure it's available on the web and across all other platforms including iOS and Android."

New features that accompany the availability of OneDrive include automatic camera back-up for Android - making it easier for users to get their photos from their Android phone to their other devices - and video transcoding, "making videos as easy to store, view and share as photos", said Redmond.

OneDrive is free for users up to the first 7GB of storage. Customers also have the option to purchase storage in 50GB, 100GB and 200GB increments.

Current customers will be able to use their existing SkyDrive credentials to access their files in OneDrive.

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