I’ve met more than a few (disillusioned) CIOs and IT managers who imagine a world where desktops are no longer required for their users. “Imagine the savings on Office licenses!” ...said no one, ever.

In reality, we’re a far cry from letting go that of which is dear and near to our hearts: the desktop. I consider myself a power user, and if I can’t access what I need, when I need it, well… let’s just leave it at that. I’m also not at the point yet where I can create complex Excel spreadsheets or beautiful PowerPoint presentations on my phone. (I mean, can anyone?)

Before you ask what’s so exciting about the OneDrive for Business roadmap for 2018 and beyond, let me retort: OneDrive and OneDrive for Business are indispensable tools I simply cannot live without. I have them installed and synced across multiple devices, which not only gives me access to information whenever and wherever, but gives me the peace of mind that my important documents are in the cloud.

Essentially, OneDrive for Business is the crutch I lean on for more than a few mission critical items, so when it comes to making it better and more efficient, I’m all for it!

Moving Forward with OneDrive for Business

OneDrive has come a long way in the last several years, and I’m really looking forward to the new and improved working experience. What new experience, you ask? The Office 365 roadmap has proven that 2018 will be full of exciting updates for OneDrive.

So, fasten your seatbelts! The OneDrive for Business roadmap for 2018 and beyond is impressive. 


There is 1 fully released update that is now generally available for applicable customers:

  1. OneDrive for Business folder sharing links

Rolling Out

We can anticipate 12 new updates that are beginning to roll out but are not yet available to all applicable customers:

  1. OneDrive for Business filename support improvements
  2. Simplified sharing from OneDrive for Business to the web
  3. Increased file path limit
  4. New sharing controls from Windows Explorer
  5. New sharing controls from Mac Finder
  6. RMS / IRM sync
  7. OneDrive mobile on-prem app
  8. Zip file support
  9. Improved Office File experience
  10. Fluent UI updates for web
  11. Flow for OneDrive
  12. Collab activity for files and folders on mobile

In Development

There are 17 total updates that are currently in development and testing:

  1. OneDrive integration with Microsoft Flow
  2. Updates to "Shared with me" view
  3. Multi-page scan from mobile
  4. Offline folders in OneDrive Mobile App (iOS)
  5. Updates to admin control for internal and external sharing
  6. OneDrive: “Per Group” sharing controls
  7. File activity views on mobile and web
  8. Updates to the home dashboard on the admin center
  9. Photo intelligence (Auto-tagging / OCR) and metadata
  10. Files On-Demand
  11. New sharing experience for Office desktop apps
  12. Share by Me view
  13. Simplified external sharing (no MSA)
  14. Mobile client updates
  15. Improved search and auto detection of image types
  16. Multi-geo private preview
  17. Intelligent discovery for Windows Phone


There are 0 previously planned updates that are no longer being developed or are indefinitely delayed.

Previously Released

Here are the 13 generally available updates for all:

  1. Mobile access to SharePoint 2013 and 2016 files
  2. OneDrive for Business network bandwidth throttling controls for Sync
  3. OneDrive file activity for mobile apps
  4. Mobile scanning for OneDrive for Business
  5. Enhanced OneDrive for Business user management in the Office 365 admin center
  6. Dedicated OneDrive for Business admin console
  7. Copy files directly to SharePoint from OneDrive
  8. Mobile access to SharePoint Online for Windows Phone
  9. Mobile access to SharePoint Online for Android
  10. OneDrive for Business SharePoint Online document library sync
  11. OneDrive for Business shared folder sync
  12. Offline folders in OneDrive mobile app (Android)
  13. Designer: Charts support

Which features will be available by December 2017?

  • Files On-Demand
    The most requested feature in UserVoice was “Files On-Demand.” This allows us to see all of our files without the need to download them.
  • IRM/DRM library sync
    A single sync client will be used for all cloud files in OneDrive and SharePoint.
  • Multi-Geo
    Now, organizations that function across multiple geographic regions and countries can make decisions down to the user level. This applies to where the data is stored, as well as unique sharing and data loss prevention policies based on location.
  • Service-level encryption with customer key
    Your own customer key gives you control over the encryption during transit and at-rest. Owning the master key also lets you decide when and how it’s available.
  • Auto account configuration with ADAL
    Automatically sign users in and set up their OneDrive.
  • Greater transparency with regards to sharing status and permissions
    Allow users to easily see whether a folder has been shared and with whom.
  • FastTrack self-service migration toolkit
    This toolkit is now available to everyone to plan and execute their own migration to the cloud.
  • Support for on-premises with OneDrive Windows and Android app
    Consistency when browsing your cloud and on-premises content.
  • Simplified editing and viewing experience
    Improvements to the experience when opening and working on documents in web clients.
  • Photo intelligence
    OCR (optical character recognition) on every photo uploaded to the cloud, which allows for extracted metadata.
  • Sharing desktop notifications
    Simplified experience for the recipient of shared documents.
  • Consistent sharing experience across web & office
    Share directly from Office apps, without the need to switch between apps.
  • Zip file support
    Drill into zip folders and decide which files you would like to download.
  • Office for Mac sync client
    The Office package for Mac now includes a new sync client.


Personally, I’m most excited about Files On-Demand. Remember when I said that OneDrive is installed and synced across my devices? Well, Files On-Demand now allows me to be selective about the files that are downloaded, while still maintaining visibility across all of my files.

Over 100 features and functionalities were added in the last year alone, and 43 of those were from input on UserVoice. Be part of the improvements you would like to see in 2018, and see how that affects the OneDrive for Business Roadmap next year!

How Metalogix Can Help You with OneDrive for Business

OneDrive for Business is only going to continue getting bigger from here. See how Metalogix Essentials for Office 365 is designed to give you a streamlined way to manage content, users, and licenses across OneDrive for Business and your entire Office 365 environment!

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