Microsoft, in a post on the OneDrive blog, has made a bunch of roadmap related announcements for OneDrive (and OneDrive for Business). This is refreshing because until about a year ago, this kind of information was almost impossible to get unless you relied on insider information and rumors.
The background for this honest and direct blog post could be several reasons:
- Enthusiasts who loved Windows 8.1’s OneDrive behavior with the placeholder files who are disappointed that Windows 10 Technical Preview does away with it.
- OneDrive for Business users who have no choice but to sync their entire collection or nothing.
- OneDrive customers who have been clamoring for a shared folder sync a la Dropbox.
- Overall, OneDrive customers who see slight differences in how files sync across the variety of platforms OneDrive is on, which is pretty much every platform today.
So here are the changes coming to OneDrive, and timelines wherever Microsoft has provided:
- Single sync engine across all platforms. This will be built based on the current Windows 7 and Windows 8 sync engines, which means users have to select which folders they want to sync at the time of setting up OneDrive app. Of course, this can be changed later, but this is in contrast to Windows 8.1’s sync engine which takes the entire OneDrive and creates placeholder files whenever the cloud-based file is not available locally.
- Unified OneDrive app for consumer and business users on iOS (this is already available on the Windows Phone and Android apps). This is coming later in January.
- Preview of Mac client for OneDrive for Business, coming later in January.
- Sync shared folders, coming “by summer”.
- Shared folders and support for consumer and business in a single client on Windows 10, coming in the first Windows 10 release.
- Reliable and comprehensible replacements to the placeholder feature will come to Windows 10 later in the calendar year.
I like this post because it makes clear that Microsoft is aware of the customer pain points and are not only working on the features to reduce the pain, but also know when approximately they will make those features available to the customers.
If you want to provide feedback on OneDrive, you can conveniently go to their UserVoice site.