Microsoft is reportedly planning to bring back a popular feature to OneDrive on Windows - but it may be a while before it eventually rolls out to users.
OneDrive introduced 'placeholders' in Windows 8.1, to allow users to easily view all of their cloud-stored files without having to download every file to all of their devices. On PCs and tablets with limited storage, this enabled users to sync their choice of files onto each device, while still being able to see all of their other stuff - those files not stored on the device were replaced with placeholders, which users could double-click to download a full copy of each file as needed.
However, some users were confused by files that appeared on their devices, but which weren't actually installed - and this obviously became a problem for those users when trying to open those files while offline. As a result, Microsoft 'simplified' things by removing placeholder functionality completely - but for those who had become accustomed to the system, that came as quite a disappointment.
However, it seems that Microsoft is working on restoring this functionality, as Thurrott.com reports. An unnamed 'source who has knowledge of the company's plans' said that Microsoft will bring OneDrive placeholders back as part of its Redstone wave of updates to Windows 10 next year.
Details of how Microsoft will implement the feature remain far from clear for now, but it's possible that users will have to opt in to enable it.
Given that the first Redstone update is not scheduled to roll out until late Spring, it will clearly be some time before the feature is reinstated. That said, Windows Insiders are likely to get the opportunity to test it in Windows 10 preview builds before it becomes more widely available.
The first Insider Preview from the Redstone development branch rolled out earlier this week. Microsoft is also said to be planning improvements to Cortana in Windows 10 as part of its Redstone updates.