Users of Microsoft’s upcoming OneDrive cloud storage service could get rewarded with more online storage for things as simple as inviting friends to join them on the service and using the Camera Roll back up utility on iPhone and devices running Google’s Android operating system.
News about OneDrive, the renamed and refreshed version of Microsoft’s current SkyDrive online storage utility, surfaced this past weekend. According to a report from LiveSide, a sort of storage earnings system will be included when Microsoft decides to formally rebrand SkyDrive to OneDrive sometime soon.
A screenshot shared with the outlet indicates that Microsoft will give users who back up their devices to OneDrive an extra 3GB of storage. Users who sync OneDrive with their PC or Mac will also receive a bit more storage. Finally, anyone who successfully invites another user to OneDrive can receive up to 5GB of storage free or about 500MB for each person they invite. The entire scheme seems fairly reminiscent of the storage bonuses DropBox hands out to users who refer new members.
Today, Microsoft periodically hands out more storage to users. For example, a promotion back in January gifted Windows Phone users an extra 20GB of online storage for backing up photos, music and almost anything else. Allegedly, any storage earned through this rewards system will be permanent. Should users simply wish to buy more storage it’s likely that they’ll still be able to do so, after all SkyDrive has included the option for users to purchase more storage in yearly increments for some time. All SkyDrive users receive 7GB of storage free when they sign up.
The release of such a rewards system on iOS and Android for OneDrive should bolster Microsoft’s profile with mobile users. Instead of waiting for Windows Phone to gain in sales, Microsoft is betting that it can make its services available to Android and iOS users and convince them to use Microsoft’s other products. In the short-term that means that offers like the Bing Rewards feature the company announced last month are available on other’s platforms and not its own. However, in the long-term this builds trust with consumers and, presumably, gives users experience with Microsoft products that they might not have interacted with at all had Microsoft restricted them to Windows Phone.
There’s still no word on when Microsoft plans to formally replace SkyDrive with OneDrive. Currently, OneDrive is only listed on Microsoft’s website as “coming soon.” SkyDrive apps for iOS and Android are already available.