Windows 10: Microsoft is making significant changes to OneDrive

Fahad Al-Riyami

Microsoft is making significant changes to OneDrive in Windows 10

Change is a two-way street, some welcome it, and some are uncomfortable with the notion. For a company like Microsoft, who is currently deep in the development of the next version of Windows, it can be difficult to decide on what to change, what to keep, and even if both options are available, what to set as the default.

In the recently released build (9879) of Windows 10, as part of the Windows Insider Program, the software giant made significant changes to the way OneDrive is implemented in the OS. Prior to the update, users would be able to browse all the files stored in their OneDrive cloud storage via Windows Explorer, which when the view is set to ‘Detail’ will show an Availability column to mark whether a particular file or folder is stored locally or available only online. Now, OneDrive in Windows Explorer only shows files that are available locally.

Microsoft is making significant changes to OneDrive in Windows 10

Users on the Windows UserVoice site were quick to react and respond that they didn’t like the change, and asked for an option for power users to enable viewing all the files stored on the cloud just as it is currently in Windows 8.1.

Microsoft has responded saying that change is needed as the current file placeholder model is causing customer confusion and that third-party applications do not respond well to files that are listed in OneDrive in Windows Explorer, but not locally available. The company notes that what you see in build 9879 is just the beginning and Microsoft will be improving the experience significantly by the time the OS is complete.

Microsoft is making significant changes to OneDrive in Windows 10

The software giant is working on a new placeholder system and a new search experience that will allow users to search for all files stored in the cloud, giving users access to those files directly from the search results.

Some of the other changes include merging the sync engine of OneDrive and OneDrive for Business, and re-writing the implementation in Windows so that it can scale to unlimited storage. More features will be added as development proceeds. The next build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview is expected in early 2015.