Microsoft is reportedly "glad" that it has to change the name of its global cloud storage service, after running foul of a U.K. TV broadcaster's trademark. We wonder what happens when something goes really wrong for the company.
Looking to the Clouds For A New Name
Microsoft hasn't had much luck with names recently. First Metro, the title for the new Windows 8 interface was squashed by an out-of-court settlement with a German firm. Now it must rebrand SkyDrive after being sued by U.K. satellite firm Sky TV. Oddly if you search the Sky.com site for "SkyDrive", there are no hits for the term, so it must really hurt Microsoft to have to go through this exercise.
This will include renaming all the iOS, Android and other mobile apps, the web portals and a huge number of references across Microsoft sites, material and other locations. SkyDrive used to be called Live Folders, but who'd buy into folders in the mobile age? At least this ruling will hopefully startups and others steering well clear of the Sky trademark. At least the company didn't start out as Cloud TV back in the eighties.
This news follows on from Microsoft's poor Surface RT sales and subsequent price cut, and its struggle to get Windows 8 into enterprises, its bread and butter, which might be helped by this week's launch of Windows 8.1 Enterprise preview.
What's In A Name?
Given that Apple has iCloud, Google has Drive and Amazon has Cloud Drive, perhaps Microsoft will take the slightly whimsical approach it took with bing and go for something a little out of the ordinary. Perhaps "bing-bong" or "bing-bank."
In a case like the this, the only real winners are the lawyers who somehow successfully argued that the word "Sky" can be protected, even if the concept of cloud data storage is nothing to do with the idea of satellite TV delivery. All Microsoft would say is ""We're glad to have resolution of this naming dispute", presumably through gritted teeth.
There is no word on how long Microsoft will have to come up with a new name, but since money has changed hands between the two companies, it should be afforded a decent period of grace to get the rebranding exercise done.