OneDrive for Business has had a pretty bad reputation for reliability in the past and Microsoft has known changes were needed to bring the service up top speed with customer expectations.
That effort is apparently paying off as OneDrive for Business has been named a Leader by Forrester Research in “The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise File Sync and Share Platforms, Cloud Solutions, Q1 2016.”
Beginning today, Microsoft is rolling out a OneDrive for Business client update that brings in highly requested features and enhancements asked for by customers over the last few months.
Here are those improvements:
- Windows 8.1 support—This completes our commitment around Windows OS support (7, 8, 8.1 and 10).
- Office 2016 integration—In conjunction with an Office 2016 update currently rolling out, key features such as real-time co-authoring, open documents from the Most Recent list and share documents from within the Office app will be available.
- Improved setup—Now it’s easy for anyone to get and install the new OneDrive sync client. No more registry keys needed on Windows or Terminal window on Mac!
- Seamless client migration—If you are running the previous sync client (groove.exe), this update seamlessly transitions without requiring a resync. For full details go here.
- Pause sync—A handy feature when you want to suspend syncing for a period of time, like when you are tethered to your phone or using Wi-Fi on an airplane.
- View files online—You can now right click any document in Windows Explorer and select “view online” to navigate to the OneDrive for Business file or folder in the browser.
- Sync any file type you want—We’ve added support for .json, .aspx, .swf files and more; you can now add any file type to your OneDrive for Business.
- Block file types—IT admins can now block certain file types from syncing, such as PST or MKV files protecting limited bandwidth.
- Performance and reliability improvements—Give small files in particular a big boost in upload and download speed.
These above listed items should be available to users within the next two weeks with the exception of the Office 2016 integration and Pause sync that will both roll out over this summer.
Some additional updates that will become available later this year include:
- Manage bandwidth—By the end of June, we’ll deliver IT controls to throttle bandwidth consumption of the client.
- Extended Windows Explorer integration—A simple right-click action to get a link or share files directly in Windows Explorer.
- SharePoint Document Library Sync—We’re adding SharePoint Online document library sync, starting with a preview in the third quarter of 2016, with general release by the end of 2016.
There are also improvements in the OneDrive web interface for handing shared files and making it easier to share cloud based files with people outside of your organization.
On the mobile side Outlook mobile will be better integrated on both platforms with OneDrive For Business means and that will make it easier to share files stored in the cloud using Outlook email. You can expect this update to arrive in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, you can expect updates to the iOS and Android OneDrive for Business apps beginning today which will improve your ability to access and share files stored in the OneDrive for Business cloud across those mobile devices.
If you are an IT Pro who needs to manage the audience your users can share cloud based files with then this update will also deliver tools to do that:
...we’re also giving IT administrators more controls over who their users can share with. For example, perhaps your organization is OK with files being shared with external parties, but doesn’t want employees to share files with certain organizations, such as direct competitors. Now, IT administrators can set up a list of domains that people can share with or a list of blocked domains (but not both). This new capability is currently rolling out and will be available to all OneDrive for Business customers by the end of April.
You can read more about this update over on the Office OneDrive for Business blog.
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