Microsoft recently announced the third generation of its OneDrive cloud storage, boasting substantial changes driven by the company's AI-powered Copilot system, a Fluent design refresh, and improved features designed to enhance document sharing by businesses.
Used to host trillions of files for both individual users and businesses, OneDrive experiences roughly 2 billion file additions each day. Microsoft is now focusing on improving OneDrive's user experience, particularly for business users, bringing in quality-of-life enhancements that simplify file management across different platforms— web, Windows, and various Office apps.
One of the significant upgrades includes the OneDrive web app's new Fluent design, which aligns with the Windows 11 interface and recent updates to Office apps, complementing the latest File Explorer design.
The revised web app features a new AI-powered file recommendations section "For you," presenting crucial files up top, related to your workday.
These files could be from your OneDrive, Teams, or other locations. The intention is to make OneDrive the central location for managing and accessing all your documents. Also introduced is a refreshed shared view revealing all files shared over Teams, emails, and other document-sharing ways. The main sharing UI has been polished for metaphorical smoothness, and permission management has been simplified.
A new feature particularly useful for team members is the people view, where users can find files they're working on with colleagues by simply locating their face or name. Filters allow users to search names and even pin ones they frequently work with to the top.
Additionally, user folders can now be color-coded, which will be visible to all your shared mods. Possibly the most useful functionality is the ability to mark favorite OneDrive files that will sync across Windows 11, OneDrive web, and elsewhere. Thus, favorite folders in OneDrive on Windows 11 can be found under favorites on OneDrive web.
OneDrive's search experience has been revamped with AI features to facilitate locating friends and family among pictures stored on the cloud storage service.
Improvements in file creation have also been made in OneDrive. A new "add new" button, set to be launched next summer, will provide a range of template suggestions for presentations and other documents, with previews and the ability to start from a blank slate. This promise comes alongside a claim of faster OneDrive usage, improved scrolling and better offline support.
Microsoft intends to add a new media view hosting all photos and video assets at a single location. Revamped OneDrive experience will soon be available in the files section of Microsoft Teams and the file navigation section of Outlook, which is expected to be available in December. Microsoft 365 Copilot license holders can expect the Copilot AI system to roll into OneDrive in December, offering up a daily file digest and a detailed view of new comments. Most OneDrive interface changes are already available at onedrive.com, with more to come in early 2024.
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