Microsoft adds SharePoint support to OneDrive

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Quite a lot of news came out of the Microsoft Ignite 2016 conference, most of which we have already covered. But there’s more, as Microsoft announced a big upgrade to its OneDrive cloud storage service.

Microsoft wants 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. To achieve this, it has added the ability to sync SharePoint Online document libraries with OneDrive folders,and added an “activity center” to the OneDrive sync client to allow you to view synchronization and file activity at a glance.

You won’t need OneDrive to see shared folders from others, either. The new update adds the ability to get to folders from someone else’s OneDrive that are shared with you through the Windows File Explorer.

Microsoft also updated the OneDrive browser to add rich thumbnails and previews for over 20 new file types. This feature will be rolled out before the end of 2016. You will also have the ability to access and edit all of your files in OneDrive and SharePoint Online from the OneDrive browser client and be able to download multiple files as a single .zip file. These two features will also be rolling out before the end of the year. 

On the mobile side of things, Android and iOS devices will now receive a notification when someone shares a file with you. Android users will be able to access SharePoint Online files in the Android OneDrive app, and the app has been given multi-page scan enhancements. For iOS, you will have the ability to see over time how many people have discovered and viewed your files in OneDrive.

Microsoft promises more Office 365 integration, as well. For example, you’ll have a notification in the ribbon if someone is editing a file at the same time as you and who it is, and you can even launch Skype for Business to talk to that person about it. Also, when you open the File menu, you’ll now see options that have recently been shared with you, in addition to 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 the employee leaving or being fired or if the account is somehow compromised, such as if it is lost or stolen.