The return Microsoft’s OneDrive placeholders has been highly requested since the release of Windows 10. Originating in Windows 8.1, the tool allowed users to view their library in File Explorer without having to download it.
(OneDrive) placeholders are inching their way into RS2, even more code present than what exists in RS1.
— Indie Go (@tfwboredom) August 9, 2016
The information comes from Twitter account Core, who says that more code for the service is present in RS2. The news was later re-tweeted by WalkingCat, who tipped off several news outlets.
Last year, Head of SharePoint and OneDrive businesses Jeff Teper talked to ZDNet about why the feature was not included.
He notes that placeholders “mostly worked, but never integrated with the Windows file system, meaning some apps, APIs and command line tools didn’t work as they should.” He believes that functionality should have been integrated on the file-system level.
He then revealed that his team are working on a solution for placeholders, but could not provide specifics or timing. It’s possible that this is the project he was referring to.
Dropbox revealed their own placeholder alternative back in April. Dubbed “Project Infinite” the new feature has much of the same functionality, allowing users to see their files locally without them taking up lots of space.
“Project Infinite will enable users to seamlessly and securely access all their Dropbox files from the desktop, regardless of how much space they have available on their hard drives.” Said product manager Genevieve Sheehan, “Everything in the company’s Dropbox that you’re given access to, whether it’s stored locally or in the cloud, will show up in Dropbox on your desktop.”
Competition from Dropbox would be as good a reason as any for Microsoft to push for a Redstone 2 release. The company remains one of Microsoft’s top competitors in personal cloud storage.
How soon the feature is coming is impossible to tell, but it’s good to know that Microsoft is making progress on bringing it back to life.