OneDrive for Business users, your nightmare is finally coming to a close: Microsoft announced today that it has shipped a preview version of its new sync client for Windows and Mac that solves most of the problems with the previous client.
How does it do this? Easy: It’s based on the consumer OneDrive sync client, which makes sense since Microsoft is working to bring OneDrive (consumer) and OneDrive for Business closer together technologically and from a user experience perspective.
A few caveats here.
First, while the consumer OneDrive sync client is indeed about a million times better than the OneDrive for Business sync client—supporting such things as the ability to chose which folders sync to the PC—it is also fairly lousy compared to competing products like Dropbox. So what you’ll be getting is better, but it’s still not ideal.
Second, it’s in preview, which means that you won’t just get this updated sync client automatically, at least not yet. Instead, Microsoft is rolling out the preview in stages “to meet high demand,” and you can and should sign up at the wait list web site if you are interested in getting the new client more quickly. There are versions for both Windows (7 or higher, though 8.1 won’t be supported until Q1 2016) and Mac OS X (10.9 and higher).
Additionally, Microsoft will let organizations block the delivery of this client. Why anyone would do this is unclear: The current client forces you to sync every single file you have in OneDrive for Business.