A long time ago, in an OS far, far away, ok not that far away but with Window 8.1, Microsoft had a feature for OneDrive called placeholders. This feature allowed you to keep a very small file on your local machine that showed a thumbnail of the document that was stored in the cloud.
By double-clicking on the placeholder, the file would download to your machine and open as if it were always stored on your local disk. For those who understood the feature, it was fantastic, as you had quick access to all of your cloud content without paying the penalty of storing it locally.
The problem was that not everyone understood how the feature worked and when a consumer was offline, they became angry that all of the content they thought was stored locally, was not. So, Microsoft removed the feature but for power users, this was a sin on the same level as spoiling the new Star Wars movie for those who have not seen it yet.
Based on a source who has knowledge of the company’s plans, this feature is expected to return with the release of Windows Redstone late next Spring. Current expectation is that Redstone will arrive in June but as with all features and timelines, depending on how the platform matures, deadlines may slip and features can be cut.
For the power users out there, know that the requests for placeholder files has not fallen of deaf ears and that they are actively looking to bring the feature back next year. I will be curious to see how they implement the feature this time so that consumers who are not aware of this feature, don’t become trapped offline without their content. An easy solution would be to make the feature off by default and only allow you to turn it on after clearly communicating how the feature works.
Tagged with OneDrive