SkyDrive renaming and Windows 8.1 “delay” – are they related?

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted August 28, 2013 30 comments

Microsoft has stepped in it once again with the official announcement yesterday that although Windows 8.1 has “RTM”ed (which up until now has always meant “Released to Manufacturing”, ie: the bits were done and Microsoft would start printing disks/CDs/DVDs, but now apparently means “Released to manufacturers” and doesn’t mean much of anything at all, anymore), and the further confirmation that no, MSDN subscribers would not be getting the bits until Windows 8.1 reaches “GA”, General Availability, on October 18th.

This has caused a bit of a s&#tstorm among developers, IT Pros, and others who are used to getting their hands on new releases a bit early, to be able to test the software, and test their apps against the latest bits. Microsoft has been using developers as something of a punching bag in the past few years, first by pulling back on Silverlight after pumping developers up on it for years, then by seemingly dropping support for .Net technologies in favor of HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript, and then going back on THAT at this year’s Build, trying to cover its tracks by giving those .Net devs a pat on the head.

The developers and IT Pros aren’t too happy with the latest changes (or much of anything that Microsoft has done recently). Microsoft’s official line, as reported by Ed Bott, is that they will “continue to refine Windows 8.1 to ensure a quality experience at general availability for customers on October 18th”. More pragmatic minds think the decision not to release 8.1 to MSDN has to do more with controlling the message than it does with worries about bug fixes. Not that there aren’t bugs to fix, and perhaps Microsoft is missing some of Steven Sinofsky’s engineering discipline and the bugs are more prevalent and serious than we’re recently accustomed to. But Microsoft is prepared to issue “QFE”s, or bug fixes, right up until GA, and perhaps even after, and MSDN subscribers, of all people, wouldn’t be surprised by a Microsoft bug or two.

At the same time, we’re waiting word from Microsoft on what the new name for SkyDrive will be. After being successfully sued by BSkyB in Europe over the use of “Sky” as part of SkyDrive, Microsoft first vowed to appeal, and then a few weeks later abruptly changed course, promising to change the name “in a reasonable period of time”. That time would seem to be upon us, as we can’t imagine why it would make any sense to go into this holiday season promoting a dead-man-walking brand name for a product that’s essential and a differentiator for Microsoft as it tries to woo consumers back, away from the iPad and Android.

And it’s not only Apple and Android that Microsoft is battling. Both Box and Dropbox are pushing hard in the consumer cloud storage space (and just a thought, how are these two able to keep their names, while SkyDrive has to change?). Yesterday, too, SkyDrive Pro, the only slightly related business counterpart to SkyDrive for Office 365, bumped its initial storage capacity up to 25GB from 7GB, and added paid tiers, only days after Box announced updates of its own.

So the question is, will Microsoft spring a new marketing plan, including a new name for SkyDrive (we’re guessing to Microsoft Drive, but who knows) to be launched on October 18th? Is this all an elaborate ploy to cloak new marketing efforts, to make a big splash with a new name and a new holiday marketing campaign? Naw, couldn’t be that easy, could it?

Posted August 28th, 2013 at 9:39 am
Category: News
Tags: SkyDrive, Windows 8.1
  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    I highly doubt it will be renamed by the 18th. Everyone at Microsoft is planning their skiing vacations right now & msft is typically dead between November – January. I have a feeling this delay is to allow VS 2013 to RTM.

  • http://twitter.com/surilamin surilamin

    I highly doubt it will be renamed by the 18th. Everyone at Microsoft is planning their skiing vacations right now & msft is typically dead between November – January. I have a feeling this delay is to allow VS 2013 to RTM.

  • Ray Wall

    It would make a lot of sense that MS would release a revised SkyDrive name along with Windows 8.1. But…this is Microsoft so it will probably be released at the latest time allowed by their agreement with BSkyB.

  • Ray Wall

    It would make a lot of sense that MS would release a revised SkyDrive name along with Windows 8.1. But…this is Microsoft so it will probably be released at the latest time allowed by their agreement with BSkyB.

  • Andy D

    I’m still rooting for Microsoft Platypus! :P

  • Andy D

    I’m still rooting for Microsoft Platypus! :P

  • chinch987

    please stop referring to SS as any kind of asset. i mean the dope/genius caused a $900 MILLION writedown for ineptitude on “windows rt” right down to the naming, surface hardware (no LTE, price), etc. while failing to make minor tweaks to bolser win7 and legacy users with Win8 nevermind allowing office and WP teams to share code.

  • chinch987

    please stop referring to SS as any kind of asset. i mean the dope/genius caused a $900 MILLION writedown for ineptitude on “windows rt” right down to the naming, surface hardware (no LTE, price), etc. while failing to make minor tweaks to bolser win7 and legacy users with Win8 nevermind allowing office and WP teams to share code.

  • Lollygum

    If only they could have argued that SkyDrive is one word. After all, they didn’t go after ‘Skype’.

    • Ray Wall

      Hmmm…..SkypeDrive?

    • guest7650

      I thing the bskyb has sued skype before for naming

  • Lollygum

    If only they could have argued that SkyDrive is one word. After all, they didn’t go after ‘Skype’.

    • Ray Wall

      Hmmm…..SkypeDrive?

    • guest7650

      I thing the bskyb has sued skype before for naming

  • http://www.elitecomics.net/ gerry rivers

    Honestly just name it M Drive or Windrive or something that is universal since it now works on Android & iOS. i am reaching for something like MDrive, XDrive (Xbox) or WinDrive to be big contenders

    • Ray Wall

      I kinda like XDrive (Although I think there is/was a service called XDrive). I bet the new naming will be something very generic/safe/boring like “Microsoft Drive”.

  • http://www.elitecomics.net/ gerry rivers

    Honestly just name it M Drive or Windrive or something that is universal since it now works on Android & iOS. i am reaching for something like MDrive, XDrive (Xbox) or WinDrive to be big contenders

    • Ray Wall

      I kinda like XDrive (Although I think there is/was a service called XDrive). I bet the new naming will be something very generic/safe/boring like “Microsoft Drive”.

  • Fred A.

    Maybe the should just name it SdrKivYe. We can then pronounce it… Wait for it…
    Skydrive!!!

  • Fred A.

    Maybe they should just name it SdrKivYe. We can then pronounce it… Wait for it…
    Skydrive!!! This will sure not lead to any lawsuits, would it?

    @Gerry rivers, I too like the name XDrive, because of the reasons you mention. However, I did a quick search and have learned that AOL once offered a service called xdrive. It has since been discontinued as of 1/19/2009-according to Wikipedia.
    Here’s the link- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xdrive_(website)#2000s:_transition_and_rebranding

    In addition, not sure how BMW will feel about the name xdrive, as they do use it in marketing to describe some of their 4X4 models…

  • Jason Kohlhoff

    The old skool Windows system admins would like to see it called U Drive. Like you know, your U: drive.

  • Jason Kohlhoff

    The old skool Windows system admins would like to see it called U Drive. Like you know, your U: drive.

  • Stefanfo

    They should call it Windows Live ;)

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      I thought Microsoft was trying to ditch that name…however Windows Live is something that they still have the rights to so they could always use it if they want to.

  • Stefanfo

    They should call it Windows Live ;)

    • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

      I thought Microsoft was trying to ditch that name…however Windows Live is something that they still have the rights to so they could always use it if they want to.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    It’s no surprise that developer’s are getting angry at Microsoft’s moves. Microsoft has already made the general user angry, but they are in a whole different ball game when they are getting developers angry. Devs make or break platforms, and if enough developers ditched Windows Microsoft would be in a lot of trouble.

  • http://www.techmansworld.com/ Michael Hazell

    It’s no surprise that developer’s are getting angry at Microsoft’s moves. Microsoft has already made the general user angry, but they are in a whole different ball game when they are getting developers angry. Devs make or break platforms, and if enough developers ditched Windows Microsoft would be in a lot of trouble.

  • MitchellCallahan

    Like they’re in a position the rebrand their services AGAIN. They’ll never get a foothold with consumers by changing their service names all the time. They should have gone all in against BSkyB (What a stupid name btw), it’d be worth it considering SkyDrive was finally getting some brand rep.

  • MitchellCallahan

    Like they’re in a position the rebrand their services AGAIN. They’ll never get a foothold with consumers by changing their service names all the time. They should have gone all in against BSkyB (What a stupid name btw), it’d be worth it considering SkyDrive was finally getting some brand rep.