Microsoft has managed to keep its promise of releasing a unified version of OneDrive Consumer and OneDrive for Business sync and released it on the last day of the third calendar quarter.
The software giant had promised to release a brand new version of OneDrive that incorporated both Consumer and Business sync by the third quarter, earlier this year. Along the same direction, the company is updating its cloud storage service — OneDrive for Business — starting today. The update, which will span several platforms, is expected to bring along a bunch of brand new updates.
As per a post on the OneDrive Blog,
Today we’re releasing a preview of our new OneDrive for Business sync client for organizations and we wanted to share what this means for users and IT administrators alike. Based on your feedback, we’ve focused our innovation in three key areas: improving sync reliability, enriching the user experience and delivering greater IT control.
Interestingly, the next-generation sync client (NGSC) for OneDrive consumer and OneDrive for Business on PCs and Macs is also set to enter a limited, public preview phase today. The NGSC, which promises to add the connectivity provided by OneDrive for Business, to the OneDrive consumer client was already being tested by several corporate entities. It appears that, that part of testing is over and Microsoft is ready to take the things to the next level.
If you are part of a business that is looking to test the OneDrive for Business Sync client, you can request the link to download the update by clicking right here. Meanwhile, the production version of the NGSC client for both PC and Mac is expected to roll out by the year-end, as per schedule.
The feature packed NGSC client will offer selective sync as well as the removal of the present system, that imposes a 20,000 file-sync limit, once it hits the general public.
The OneDrive Business’s web user experience is also undergoing a renovation as Microsoft takes a leaf out of OneDrive Consumer. Users will now have the option of switching between list and preview tile views. This way, it will be easier for them to identify their key files as well as perform a variety of actions which include previewing, editing, sharing and deleting files or folders.
The update will also exhibit Microsoft’s work on sharing stuff within an organization. Not only will it be easier for users to share link, but they can also attach a timer to the links, after which it will be rendered inactive.
The company has also made efforts to ensure that the OneDrive Business for Android and iOS don’t feel left out. Android is finally getting the promised ‘Offline File Access’ while iOS users who update will find a whole bunch of new command and gesture capabilities at their service. The new capabilities for iOS also include the ability to annotate saved pages.
Interestingly enough, iOS and Windows will get Offline access by the year-end while Android and Windows — Poor, Poor Windows! — will receive the ability to annotate pages by — you guessed it — the year-end. So basically nothing new for Windows Users at the moment.
Speaking over the hotly debated topic of a suitable replacements for Placeholder files, Reuben Krippner, Director of Product Marketing for OneDrive for Business, said
We are committed to the (placeholder) scenario, but implementation in 8.1 didn’t meet our quality or performance bar, but we are committed to the scenario and working on a best implementation.
Meanwhile, on the topic of unlimited OneDrive storage, he merely said,
We are working towards it (unlimited storage), we want to make sure you can store all your business files in our cloud.