In recent years, it became apparent that OneDrive for Business running on the Groove platform was problematic. You might have experienced some of these issues yourself: with uploading documents, losing work, or Groove.exe crashing while trying to sync with SharePoint. At last year’s Ignite conference in Chicago, Microsoft took responsibility for the product and promised a fix – and they delivered.
A few weeks ago, Microsoft announced the release of the latest version of OneDrive, and the improvements are tremendous. The office cache and Groove have been retired and replaced with next-generation sync capabilities, allowing users to link their business and personal accounts from one client.
As I have explored the new OneDrive, here are a few of the highlights and features I have found particularly noteworthy:
- Accounts: Offers multi-account support – I have tested up to five accounts running at the same time.
- Security: Supports multi-factor out of the box and Group Policy templates to turn off personal support in a corporate environment.
- Store: Cross-platform syncing and support on Android and Apple devices, Windows phone, and Windows 7, 8 and 10 (but not 8.1 at this time).
- Sync: Selective synchronization by folders – this represents a huge step forward with the use of SSD hard drives and smaller hardware footprints.
- Graph: OneDrive supports the Microsoft Graph API.
- Compliance: Data Loss Prevention (DLP), with auditing and compliance features.
- Filename: An end to the problem of files with unsupported characters.
- Sharing: Easy system sharing and right-click context, with more options coming soon.
If you are using the older version of OneDrive in your enterprise, you’ll need to plan ahead. At this time, Microsoft has not released an automated upgrade path, but it has been announced for release in 2016. Instructions are available here for transitioning from the existing OneDrive sync client, and can serve as a guide.
In a word, the next generation OneDrive is impressive. Already, I have replaced my DropBox and Box accounts, and seamlessly moved my user folders Documents, Music, Pictures and Desktop to OneDrive. Since I often use a Windows Insider build when I rebuild, I no longer need to worry about my other backup drives, clouds or folders. Instead, I just change the location of my user data folder and within a day or so, I’m back up and running with very little effort or worry about losing my metadata associated with the filesystem.
Want to check out these improvements for yourself? Get the download here.