Microsoft’s OneDrive has evolved far beyond its initial role as a cloud storage provider. It has become an integral part of Microsoft 365, playing a vital role in file sharing, collaboration, and security. With trillions of files and nearly 2 billion more added every day, OneDrive is used globally by individuals and organizations. Now, Microsoft is ushering in the next generation of OneDrive to adapt to the changing landscape of remote work and collaborative environments.

Effortless File Management

The revamped OneDrive comes with a suite of features designed to make file management a breeze:

  • OneDrive Home: The home experience is redesigned to help you swiftly access files across your organization.
  • For You: An AI-powered section that surfaces file recommendations at the right time.
  • Meetings View: Shows your upcoming and past meetings, along with meeting recordings and shared files.
  • People View: Organizes your files based on who you’ve collaborated with, making it easier to find files when you remember the collaborator but not the file name.
  • Shared View: A hub for all files that have been shared with you.
  • Colorful Folders: Choose the color of your folders for personalized organization.
  • Favorites: Mark files as favorites for easy access across Microsoft 365 apps.
  • Shortcuts: Create shortcuts to files residing in shared team locations.
  • Simplified Sharing: Sharing files and copying links now involve fewer clicks, making it more user-friendly.

New Features on the Horizon

Microsoft has announced upcoming features that will further simplify file organization, access, and creation:

  • Open in App: Edit any file in its desktop app, with changes syncing back to OneDrive. Expected worldwide release is in December.
  • OneDrive in Teams: A new approach to file management in Teams, leveraging the latest updates in OneDrive and SharePoint. Coming this December.
  • OneDrive in Outlook: Integrate OneDrive within the Outlook app for quick and easy file sharing, expected by December.
  • Files On-Demand for Web: Offline file access and sync extending to the browser experience. Expected in early 2024.
  • Offline Mode: Work on files in your browser even when offline. Coming in early 2024.
  • Add New: Create a new file without leaving OneDrive, expected in Summer 2024.
  • Media View: A new view to organize all your images and videos, expected in Summer 2024.

Copilot in OneDrive

Copilot, an AI-powered assistant, will transform how you interact with files in OneDrive. It allows you to ask open-ended questions related to files and can even generate file summaries when you’re sharing them. Copilot will help you organize files for projects and offer daily digests of updates to your content.

Enhanced Security and Governance

With the rise of remote work and increased file sharing, security and governance have never been more crucial. New tools in the SharePoint Advanced Management (SAM) add-on provide admins with options to:

  • Implement granular conditional access policies.
  • Use restricted access control to limit file access to specific security groups.
  • Move OneDrive accounts across tenants during mergers and acquisitions.
  • Block download policies for individual sites.

Improved Consumer Photo Search

Microsoft hasn’t forgotten the individual users. Coming features include the ability to search photos based on people in them and using natural language search to find specific photos.

Wrapping Up

The next generation of OneDrive aims to be a game-changer in file management, collaboration, and security, both for organizations and individual users. With a plethora of new features and improvements, Microsoft seems committed to ensuring that OneDrive remains at the center of your files experience in Microsoft 365. Stay tuned for further updates and rollouts.