Microsoft Announces Spring Updates for OneDrive for Business

Posted on April 12, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Office 365, OneDrive with 0 Comments

Microsoft Announces Spring Updates for OneDrive for Business

Today, Microsoft announced improvements and new capabilities in its OneDrive for Business sync, browser and mobile experiences, as well as new IT controls for administrators. These include updates to the Next Generation Sync Client that was released in December 2015.

“OneDrive for Business has made significant progress in the last 6 months,” Microsoft corporate vice president Jeff Teper writes in a new post to the Office Blogs. “But we know there’s always more for us to do to improve the service.”

So. There’s a lot of new stuff rolling out.

Looking at just the Next Generation Sync Client, we see the following changes:

  • Windows 8.1 support. You may recall that the original version of this client only supported Windows 7, 8.0, and 10.
  • Office 2016 integration. This will happen in conjunction with an Office 2016 update taht currently rolling out, bringing key features like real-time co-authoring, open documents from the Most Recent list and share documents from within the Office applications.
  • Improved setup. No more registry keys needed on Windows or Terminal window on Mac. (Not sure what that means.)
  • Seamless client migration. You can upgrade from the previous client version without requiring a resync.
  • Pause sync. This lets you suspend file sync for a period of time, like when you are tethered to your phone or using Wi-Fi on an airplane. (This one feature will roll out over the summer, Microsoft says.)
  • 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 your web browser.
  • Sync any file type you want. OneDrive for Business now supports new file types like .json, .aspx, .swf and more. And 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.
  • Performance and reliability improvements. Small files in particular get a big boost in upload and download speed.

Additionally, Microsoft is making the following improvements across other OneDrive for Business access points:

OneDrive for Business on the web. Now you can remove items from a shared list. (But you can still find them with search.) And the process for sharing with people outside your environment is being streamlined.

Android and iOS. Microsoft is integrating Outlook Mobile with OneDrive for Business, so you will be able to share files through email on both iOS and Android in the coming weeks. The OneDrive app for Android is picking up a richer sharing experience, a new PDF viewing and annotation experience, and an embedded Office Lens experience. And OneDrive for iOS is gaining a new, richer sharing experience, and Office 365 Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policy support.

There are also new IT controls coming and even some developer-oriented features. Arguably pretty big month for OneDrive for Business. You can learn more in this video overview.

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