OneDrive Gets a Major Overhaul with the Introduction of Copilot

During an exclusive online event, Microsoft has unveiled upcoming changes to its OneDrive service across Windows 11, the web, and the broader Microsoft 365 ecosystem. Termed “the third generation of OneDrive,” the company also highlighted the integration of its new Copilot experience into OneDrive. Additionally, Microsoft introduced various design enhancements for the web-based version of the service, including the introduction of colored folders. Some of these features are already available for testing when using a business account on OneDrive.

Key highlights of these updates include:

  1. Refreshed OneDrive Home Experience: This new OneDrive Home interface is designed to help users find, access, and work with their files more efficiently and personally. It adopts Microsoft’s Fluent Design language, as seen in Windows 11, streamlining containers and improving typography for enhanced readability. AI-powered recommendations appear in the “For You Section,” enabling quick access to relevant files. Users can filter their files by type (PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, Word, etc.), and a new “Add New” button facilitates file creation from templates across Microsoft 365 apps. Additionally, users can customize folder colors for better organization, and shared folders will reflect these color choices when shared.
  2. Updated Shared View: This view offers access to all files shared, regardless of the sharing method, with new filters and options to favorite files, regardless of content type. A favorite view in the sidebar streamlines file retrieval, and shortcuts to files can be created, allowing them to be linked to any folder in OneDrive.
  3. People View and Meeting View: These views showcase files associated with collaborators and meeting content, respectively.
  4. Media View (Coming Soon): Users will soon have a dedicated view for accessing photo and video assets from one location. This view will also be accessible directly from Microsoft Teams.
  5. OneDrive Integration with Teams and Outlook: Users will be able to access OneDrive from Teams, and a new “For You” view will be available in Teams later in December. Additionally, OneDrive will be integrated into Outlook for Windows and Outlook for the web, eliminating the need to switch between apps.
  6. Copilot and AI Features in OneDrive: Microsoft announced the introduction of Copilot in OneDrive, enabling natural language searches, document highlighting, and suggestions for next steps, such as adding to a folder or sharing with specific individuals. Copilot in OneDrive is expected to become available in December for Microsoft 365 Copilot license holders.
  7. AI-Powered Consumer Features: Two AI-powered features for consumers include auto-identifying and tagging people in OneDrive and using natural language in the search bar for more intuitive searches.
  8. OneDrive for Teams and Sharepoint: Users working with OneDrive in Teams and Sharepoint will be able to open files from OneDrive web in their preferred desktop application.
  9. Offline Mode (Coming in 2024): Microsoft plans to introduce an offline mode, allowing users to work with files in their browser when offline.

These updates reflect Microsoft’s commitment to enhancing the OneDrive user experience, providing more powerful AI-driven capabilities, and aligning the service with the evolving needs of users.

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