Microsoft announces major OneDrive improvements, including SharePoint Online sync preview

At Microsoft's Ignite 2016 conference, the company announced a number of new features for OneDrive, including sync, browser, mobile, and IT capabilities. The headlining feature is that a preview is now available for the sync client that will integrate with SharePoint Online.

Microsoft is aiming to provide a single sync client for all of its cloud storage services, whether its OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint, and it has been for some time. The preview that's available today is available for both Windows and macOS.

Another thing that's in the preview build will be shared folder sync. Finally, you'll be able to get to folders that are shared with you from someone else's OneDrive through the File Explorer.

Over in the browser, you'll find rich thumbnails and previews, which will work for over 20 new file types. Also, you can download multiple files and folders as a .zip file and edit all of your OneDrive and SharePoint Online files right from OneDrive.com. All of the browser features are slated to arrive before the end of 2016.

On the mobile side, you'll now get notifications on your Android or iOS device when someone shares a file with you. For Android, you'll see multi-page scan enhancements and can access your SharePoint Online files. For iOS, you'll be able to see how many people have opened your OneDrive folders. All of the mobile features are rolling out today, but there was nothing for Windows phone users.

Microsoft is promising greater Office 365 integration as well. You'll be able to see in the ribbon who is editing a file at the same time as you are, and you can even launch Skype for Business to talk about it. Also, when you open the File menu, you'll now see options that have recently been shared with you, rather than just your last used local files.

For IT pros, Microsoft will be adding per-user controls to the Office 365 User Management console. Admins will be able to sign a user out of their account in the event of it being lost or stolen, and even take over if the employee leaves or is terminated.

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