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Microsoft Boosts OneDrive with 10GB File Uploads, Folder Link Sharing

Microsoft on Thursday announced a number of improvements to its OneDrive cloud storage service, including a higher file upload limit, an easier way to share links to OneDrive folders and support for folder drag-and-drop operations using the Google Chrome browser.

Microsoft also hinted that it was working on speeding up the synchronization of files with OneDrive. Some of the improvements are available now for OneDrive users, but OneDrive for Business users may not get those improvements right away or in the same time frame.

10GB File Uploads
Previously, OneDrive could handle file uploads of just 2GB maximum in size, but the new 10GB limitation may prove helpful for individuals that upload high-resolution photo files, graphics projects or illustration files. Microsoft's announcement indicated that the 10-GB file upload improvement is just available to OneDrive consumer users now. Microsoft plans to roll out this enhancement to its OneDrive for Business users at some unspecified later date.

For now, OneDrive for Business users are stuck with a 2GB file upload limit. They face other limitations, as well, based on the SharePoint Online service that underlies OneDrive for Business. For instance, a very common complaint is OneDrive for Business' 5,000-item sync limitation with SharePoint libraries on SharePoint sites. Microsoft said back in April, though, that it is working on those limitations.

The 10-GB file upload expansion for OneDrive is available now for Windows and Mac OneDrive users, as well as all OneDrive mobile apps users.

OneDrive is supported on a few platforms, which is important to recall as Microsoft's OneDrive improvements sometimes get distributed unequally or at different times. OneDrive is available as a desktop app running on Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, as well as Mac OS X 10.7 or later operating systems. It's also available as a mobile app for smartphones or tablets running Android 2.3 or later OSes, iOS 6.0 or later versions or Windows Phone 7.5 or later versions. Commonly used browsers also can be used to access OneDrive. Users typically access their stored files by directing their browsers to OneDrive.com.

OneDrive Folder Link Sharing
Microsoft has added the ability for Windows 7 or Windows 8 desktop users to share a link to a OneDrive folder without having to go online. It's a clipboard copy feature, accessed via a fly-out menu, that lets users copy and paste a link into a message.

The OneDrive folder link sharing capability will be available "within a few weeks" for Windows 7 and Windows 8 desktop users. It's also planned for Windows 8.1 and the Mac OS desktop users, but Microsoft didn't give an estimated arrival date. There was no mention in Microsoft's announcement about whether it would be available for mobile or Android-based devices.

Folder Drag and Drop Support
OneDrive users can now drag folders from their browsers to OneDrive.com to store them on the cloud-based service. However, this feature only works now with browsers that support folder drag-and-drop operations.

Currently, the only browser with that kind of support is the Google Chrome browser, according to Angus Logan, posting in the comments section of Microsoft's announcement. "When IE [Internet Explorer] supports folder uploads we'll support it in OneDrive," Logan wrote.

Faster Desktop Sync
Microsoft's announcement also indicated plans to roll out faster synchronization capabilities for Windows and Mac OneDrive desktop users "in the coming weeks." Possibly, that means lifting the 5,000-item sync limit for OneDrive for Business, but it's not too clear from the announcement. Here's Microsoft's description of the upcoming sync speed improvements:

As part of our push to continue improving the OneDrive desktop experience, we've increased the number of files that can be downloaded or uploaded at a given time on PCs and Macs. In internal tests, this parallel syncing netted an approximately threefold increase in syncing speed. Our performance enhancements have begun rolling out and will be available worldwide in the coming weeks.

Microsoft has been rolling out its OneDrive improvements gradually. The last improvement was an increase in OneDrive storage to 15GB for consumer users (up from 7GB), as well as a OneDrive storage increase for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal subscribers to 1TB (up from 20GB). Microsoft made those announcements back in June.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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