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Microsoft Rolling Out UI Improvements to OneDrive for Business

Microsoft has revamped the user interface (UI) of its OneDrive for Business cloud-based storage solution.

The improved UI includes the addition of so-called "simple controls," which now hang above a user's personal work folders in OneDrive for Business. Those simple controls include menu options such as "New, Upload, Sync, Edit, Manage and Share."

In addition, the new UI includes a link to SharePoint Online Site Folders document libraries. The recycle bin is now located on the left side of the screen. The "about me" page, which displays a user's photo, now shows links to documents, too, as well as links to the people associated with the user.

The search box was moved to the upper left corner of OneDrive for Business. It searches for "content, documents and folders that have been shared with you and files that live in your Site Folders," according to the announcement by Mark Kashman, a senior product manager for SharePoint at Microsoft.

These new UI improvements are already rolling out worldwide, with delivery expected "over the next few weeks." Business, academic and government subscribers will get the improvements. However, users of Microsoft's dedicated service won't see them, nor will users of the free OneDrive storage solution that's used by consumers.

Organizations could see a mix of user experiences with this update rollout. Some users may get the UI improvements while other will just see the older interface for a while, within the same organization, Kashman explained. Microsoft intentionally staggers its update releases by design so that it can address any problems that might arise, he explained.

Kashman added a few other details in the announcement. He responded to the frequent lament that OneDrive for Business is still hampered by the 5,000-item synchronization limitation in SharePoint libraries. He said that Microsoft is "working to remove" that limit, but offered no timeline.

Kashman said that the OneDrive for Business Sync for the Mac client is still a work in progress, adding that "our commitment is to provide the Mac sync client by the end of 2014." On the mobile side, things are little different. In February, Microsoft announced the availability OneDrive for Business for iOS 1.2, which works on Apple iOS 7 mobile devices.

Microsoft is also working on a "native" OneDrive for Business for Android app. That app is expected to arrive by the end of this year, according to Kashman.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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