Only two weeks ago, Microsoft announced the rebranding of their online storage service from SkyDrive to OneDrive, partly due to the loss of a trademark case with BSkyB, which owns trademark rights to “Sky” in the EU. However, the switch has yet to happen, and OneDrive is only marked as “coming soon”. Today LiveSide was able to obtain exclusive screenshots of the new OneDrive.com in action, together with some new features coming to OneDrive.
As expected, OneDrive.com itself isn’t too exciting as it looks just like SkyDrive.com with a new name. However, if you look closely at the screenshot above, what’s more exciting is the existence of a new feature called “co-owned folders” (yes, the LiveSide folder shown above is an example of this).
We’ve reported on the concepts of “folder mounting” and “co-owners” late last year, and this new “co-owned folders” feature shown in the screenshots above and below is exactly that. In Microsoft’s way of describing how it works:
Co-owners can add, edit, and delete files, and invite people to a folder. You can collaborate with people by adding them as co-owners (to a folder). Co-owners can add folders to their own OneDrive and access it from anywhere.
In other words, if someone adds you as a co-owner to a folder on their OneDrive, not only can you view or edit files in that folder, but it will appear as one of your own folders. Consequently, you will be able to sync these shared files and folders onto your own PC, and be able to invite others to access the folder as well. Below is a screenshot showing the new “Create Folder” prompt, allowing users the option to add co-owners to their newly created folders:
Of course, you can also add co-owners to any of your existing folders (provided that folder isn’t located inside another co-owned folder). Below is the prompt when you “Share” a folder, with new options to invite people as co-owners:
One of the biggest complaints of SkyDrive over the past few years is that the desktop sync client (which is now built into Windows 8.1) does not sync any files or folders that are shared with you, meaning offline access to shared content from others’ SkyDrive is impossible. This made collaboration particularly painful. This new “co-owned folders” feature will finally address this issue, and we believe it will be welcomed by many.
We believe the “co-owned folders” feature will be released alongside OneDrive.com, although this may change closer to release. Oh and don’t worry, this is only one of the many new features that are yet to come to OneDrive, so stay tuned at LiveSide as we bring you more exclusive news!