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Microsoft updates Windows 10, gets an earful from users about OneDrive changes

Gregg Keizer | Nov. 14, 2014
The update, tagged "Build 9879," followed the Oct. 21 release of Build 9860, which came 20 days after the initial Technical Preview.

With Windows 10, OneDrive will use what Aul called "selective sync" in that users choose which files are synched with actual downloads. Other files remain on OneDrive, but do not show up in File Explorer, Windows 10's file management tool. To see everything in OneDrive, users must instead open a browser and comb through OneCloud's online interface.

Users hated the change.

In comments appended to Aul's blog, on a short thread on Microsoft's support discussion forum, and also in a much larger collection of complaints on Microsoft's Windows Feature Suggestion Box, customers gave Aul a piece of their minds.

In nearly 60 comments linked to the feature request, "Add an advanced option to restore showing ALL OneDrive files in Explorer, synced or not," Windows 10 Technical Preview users lambasted the OneDrive change.

"Stupid to remove a perfectly working and very useful feature," said Asbjarn today. "And how does this square with the recently announced unlimited storage for OneDrive? Or perhaps that is the real reason. Theoretically unlimited storage, but in practice limited by the storage capacity of your smallest device."

"The change to OneDrive is unbelievably stupid in this release," echoed one of several anonymous commenters.

"I was about to get a subscription for Office 365 Home Premium just for the OneDrive space -- but if this will be the way it works in the future it offers me zero advantage over Dropbox or Google Drive," added Kyriakos Ktorides.

"OneDrive has reverted back to how it was in Windows 7, big step backwards," complained Øystein Johnsen. "Unusable now."

"Yeah, you guys screwed the pooch on this change," said Nate Laff. "I get what you were trying to do..., but I just uploaded my entire family photo collection to OneDrive in the last week (200+ GB). Obviously it's impossible to sync that entire folder down to each device."

Mary Branscombe, a freelance writer who has blogged for ZDNet and written for CITEworld -- the latter, like Computerworld, is operated by IDG -- was the one who kicked off the request to restore the Windows 8.1 smart files functionality in Windows 10.

Branscombe reached out via Twitter to Omar Shahine, the partner group program manager for OneDrive, to ask if Microsoft would reconsider.

"It was a tough change to make," Shahine replied on Twitter. "It is certainly the future but there were significant issues with the model that required change."

In a tweet a little later, Shahine said, "Yes. It's a huge change. Not denying it. Yes it is worse in some ways. But it was necessary."

Late Wednesday, Shahine added that Microsoft would be posting a response to the outcry on the feedback thread. As of mid-day today, the promised reply or explanation had not appeared.

Shahine did not immediately reply to a request for more information on Microsoft's position regarding the OneDrive changes in Windows 10.


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