OneDrive

Why OneDrive? We know that increasingly you will have many devices in your life, but you really want only one place for your most important stuff. One place for all of your photos and videos. One place for all of your documents. One place that is seamlessly connected across all the devices you use. You want OneDrive for everything in your life.

Of course, changing the name of a product as loved as SkyDrive wasn’t easy. We believe the new OneDrive name conveys the value we can deliver for you and best represents our vision for the future. We are excited about what is to come, and can’t wait to share more.

~ Ryan Gavin – General Manager, Consumer Apps & Services

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The name actually makes sense, and for marketing reasons I think it will be a success as it really fits with the idea of one OS, one platform, one look for all Windows users on any devices and it also matches with their note taking app – OneNote.

This seems like a bold and genius move from Microsoft but in reality is the result of a settlement between Microsoft and BSkyB over the trademark of the Sky name. There were also “financial terms” as part of the settlement, but the firms have not disclosed any figures.

In the end I see this as a win for Microsoft, I never really liked the name “SkyDrive”, just like the word “cloud” it has been overused and in today’s globalized and connected world those words sound a bit silly.

Microsoft has mentioned that nothing will change for current SkyDrive users, there is nothing that needs to be done. In the coming days the name will be updated to OneDrive and the site for new subscribers is at https://onedrive.com/

Bad Christmas for Nokia

Nokia says it sold 8.2 million Lumia phones last quarter. Lumia phones are the devices that run Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 operating system. Lumia sales had actually been growing quarter over quarter in 2013, but saw a decline in the final quarter. It sold 8.8 million Lumias in Q3 2013.

That’s a troubling stat since sales declined during the holiday season. It’s also a bad sign for the Windows Phone platform in general. Nokia is pretty much the only manufacturer that sells Windows Phones these days. HTC, Samsung, and others don’t take the platform very seriously and concentrate on Android instead.

Remember, Microsoft is still in the process of buying Nokia’s smartphone and tablet business for $7.2 billion, but the deal hasn’t gone through yet. Everything should be finalized before the end of the first quarter of 2014. Microsoft will report earnings this afternoon around 4 p.m. Eastern.

~ – Business Insider

Siri – It’s not you, it’s Cortana

“Our UI will be deeply personalized, based on the advanced, almost magical, intelligence in our cloud that learns more and more over time about people and the world,” Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said in a memo about the company’s in-development voice AI. “Our shell will natively support all of our essential services, and will be great at responding seamlessly to what people ask for, and even anticipating what they need before they ask for it.”

Windows Phone certainly needs all the help it can get — despite showing healthy growth in 2013, the smartphone market still looks an awful lot like a two-horse race between the populist Android and the more elite iOS.

Cortana, if implement across all Windows platforms, could provide some of the connective tissue that Microsoft seems eager to showcase. I’m skeptical of how magical it will actually be, though — Siri was hailed as a Google killer before she was revealed to be mostly a little program that would inaccurately Google things for you. Mildly amusing, sure. Magical, not quite.

Dave Thier – Contributor, Forbes

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Finally. “Cortana” if executed correctly could become a good reason for people to look into getting a Windows Phone, especially if they make the service useful across all of the Windows 8 and Windows 9 devices.

Microsoft’s Vision Of The House Of The Future

Microsoft has a room on its main campus, not far from where its top executives work, that represents its vision of the future of the home and work place. Harald Becker, a senior product planner at Microsoft, gave us a tour of room. It’s not open to the public. It’s normally reserved enterprise clients. He said the room is akin to a concept car. It’s informed by the research and development from Microsoft’s tech teams. It’s representative of the investment in technology Microsoft is making. Just like car companies show concept cars that never materialize, much of what Microsoft envisions will not materialize. However, this is an idea about how connected, synced devices can change how we work and live.

~ Business Insider Tech

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Nokia Welcomes Increasing Windows Phone OEM Competition

An interview with Nokia’s Viral Oza in The Economic Times published today details the company’s mobile strategy in India and the world at large.

Oza isn’t concerned about the potential for increased competition, telling the Times that “The entry of more players in the Windows Phone market will help the ecosystem to grow further.” Nokia’s Lumia line of Windows Phone smartphones has become the de facto brand of handsets, but there has been rumor of Sony jumping into the ring this year.

He then appears to tie the entrance of new hardware players to a more healthy application market: “Also, more developers will come on board, strengthening the ecosystem even more. In that sense, it only encourages the consumers to buy Windows Phone and broadening the ecosystem.”

~ (@alex) TechCrunch.com

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With Sony jumping to the Windows Phone platform, the increasing number of developers building Windows Phone apps and the increasing number of app downloads, 2014 might just be the year for Microsoft’s Windows Phone. I am looking forward to learn what’s unveiled at BUILD this year.