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OneDrive to introduce new folder co-owner feature alongside rebranding

OneDrive

Microsoft recently announced OneDrive, the rebranding of SkyDrive as we know it today, available on multiple platforms, including the web, Windows and Windows Phone. This rebranding was the result of British Sky Broadcasting complaints of trademark infringement. LiveSide has been able to grab screenshots of this new service in action, which show an exciting new feature on the horizon for consumers who actively use the service – co-owners

OneDrive

The screenshot above shows off the new feature, which isn't currently available in SkyDrive. This is music to the ears of those who collaborate with others through SkyDrive and other Microsoft services. Here's the official description (or tool tip):

"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."

Adding other Microsoft accounts will enable them to not only edit files in said folder, but the folder itself will appear as one of their own. You can then sync shared files and folders across multiple accounts and PCs, all while allowing others to read and write as well. As you can see in the screenshot below, setting up co-owners is slightly different to sharing folders and files.

OneDrive

But that's not to suggest you won't be able to configure the above options in the share folder/file interface – you can achieve the same result that way too. This should address the problem with SkyDrive in Windows 8.1, leaving consumers unable to sync files and folders shared with their Microsoft Account. You can expect to see this feature and more when Microsoft eventually rolls out its rebranded cloud storage service.

We'll hopefully have more details on OneDrive in the near future.

Source: LiveSide; thanks, Peter, for the tip!

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Reader comments

OneDrive to introduce new folder co-owner feature alongside rebranding

132 Comments

They better bring back file fetch. That was the best feature of SkyDrive. Shocked they removes it in 8.1!

They removed it? That explains a lot.

It so rarely worked on 8.0 I thought nothing of it continuing to not work.

It basically let you turn on an option to access files on your PC remotely even if they weren't in the SkyDrive folder.

Oh, I remember that. I used to use it in Windows 7, but must have stopped by 8.1 because I never noticed it had gone. That's a handy feature – it would be especially moreso when integrated tightly with the OS. It could almost be like a Homegroup outside your lan.

Do you have 3TB of sky drive storage? I mean I have 500GB and I think I have as much as you can possibly have but I have 8TB spread across several computers.  It was great to be able to grab files I didn't want to backup. 

Let you access and retrieve files from any of your PCs (as long as they were switched on) from anywhere you want (just log into SkyDrive, select the pc, and browse!). Was so, so good.

By far, best feature of any cloud storage out there, to remove it was a huge mistake. They should have advertised the hell out of the feature, not removed it!

Yes we can, actually. I do this all the time with others. You can edit word, powerpoint and excel files simultaneously with shared files either in the Office Web Apps or locally via Office 2013.

can you stop that please? or I mean... can you research and test before claming "we cant"

because, YES we can.

I made the "homework" for you, just to type this comment. and guess what?

you can co-author in:

Word 2013 to Word 2013 to Word web app... it will nicely display the editors and the changes, hit save and see the changes like the message tells you and you will see the changes.

Excel webapp to webapp its the only co-authoring, you cant do it in offline excel, it will tell you someone is blocking the file so you cant edit it. but you can open it as only read.

and even though I dont use powerpoint. I tested it as well.
PowerPoint 2013 to 2013 and Webapps can be co-authored as well, just like Word, give someone the link and be happy. you can even get the file link in skydrive from inside word or powerpoint so you can share it easily that way without going to skydrive website... or onedrive now.

so YES, we can. and 5 minutes of testing would have actually told you that. so please, next time test it and dont misinform users!

Hmmm interesting. I think you should. If you use Office 2013 which connect directly to Skydrive today and as SkyDrive today is a gigant SharePoint solution this should work.

Google doesn't have desktop apps.

But I have gone to a client's SkyDrive (folder shared with me), opened a Word doc that he had open, then chose to edit in my desktop Word app. The status bar showed an icon with two people and a little note popped up saying that was also editing this file...

Worked well. Very cool.

If that's a drawback, people need to do their research.  Office Online CAN do that.  In fact it now even shows you who's editing the doc at the same time and it shows their position along with the live edits.

Let me try to understand your logic here: people are upset that Office Desktop doesn't do live edt, presumable because they don't like editing in a browser (Office Online). So they use Google Docs instead? (also in a browser, and with terrible IE support -- IE often being a requirement in the business environment)

You can, but only if you are using office web apps on the internet.  If you are using the full version of office on your desktop, you can't.

Then isn't this a problem with the integration of the OneDrive and MS office applications?

If MS made it possible to edit in the full ver. in real time with others, we'd be a real winner.

you can co-author word 2013 to 2013 and webapps. and Powerpoint 2013 to 2013 and webapps. the only one that doesnt let you do it it is excel 2013, it can only be co-authored with webapps, maybe because features are too different. but if you are using webapps you can coauthor excel, if you try to open it in excel 2013, it will just tell you someone is blocking the edit of the file.

maybe you should test it next time, it only takes 5 mins.

ehmm and am I killing your cats or your mom?
1. Im replying to different people.
2. people who are asking if you can or say they cant use co-authoring in Office 2013 or Webapps.
3. people who might not notice the answer to their questions if you dont reply to exactly their comments.
4. if you notice I am the ONLY on who actually knew and tested the co-authoring so I wouldnt miss guide other users. and I would help the ones that brought bad information or are asking if you can do it.

5. thanks from your non helping comments, I wont even listen to you, but you should be more useful to internet not be in the "other group". (I mean are you from 1982? dont you have a work or a LIFE instead of wasting your time with these comment who DONT help anyone?)
6. so, my replies were to other people NOT you, again, ignore them if you dont think they are useful.

Wow, you talking about me not having a life when you just wrote a whole essay to reply to my one sentence.. You right tho, I don't have a life lol, I'm a chef so I work 13 hr shifts, thanx for taking the time to reply tho, hope you have a good day..
Btw, my first comment was just a joke, didn't mean any disrespect, I apologize..
Thank you for testing and helping the people who asked needed to know...

You can also use it with Office 2013.
the only one you cant its Excel, which can only be coauthored with webapps.

but word and powerpoint can be done with offline and online app... for your information.

You can, even using the actual word program or webapp. You can be signed into the same document, and continue to edit. You can then click the refresh button within the document to show the input of the other people on the document.

That's only required for Desktop, and I'd expect that to change pretty soon. Office Online already has live edit.

thats not like it seems, it will display a message "Nykoally has edited the document" or something like that, it gives you like a mark representing the other editors and it gives you a message if you a message you have to save to see the changes not "refresh" like the person above said.
how is that not practical? would you rather see your document changed without you knowing or you losing track of the changes because they happen automatically?.

Hopefully without the stupid Dropbox way of taking up space on everyone's drive for each file (eg, if my friend uploads a 1GB design file, it uses up 1GB of my own Dropbox allocation ... WTF).

That's the beauty of SkyDrive/OneDrive and their 'smart files'.  All your files just show up in File Explorer like a normal folder (even thumbnails!) and then only downloads the full size if you open the file or mark it as Available for Offline Use :)

Agreed, that's one of the best parts of its great integration. However I was referring to the server-side storage.

Real-life example: I have a 5GB Dropbox that I don't use (because I have SkyDrive). But it came in handy at work when an external agency was sharing design files with us. Now design files are always large, and the agency had a much bigger Dropbox that could hold them all. However as soon as they had uploaded 5GB of files, my own Dropbox was suddenly full. Why? Because for some crazy reason these files that live on someone else's Dropbox also need to take up 'space' on my own Dropbox when they're 'shared' ...

Now you could tell me to get more space, because there are plenty of free ways of getting more with Dropbox. But the fact is I shouldn't have to. Multiplying the amount of 'space' used by the number of users they're shared with is just insane. With SkyDrive's current 'shared folder' system, they live on the originator's SkyDrive. Files uploaded by collaborators take up space on the folder owner's SkyDrive, which isn't ideal but it's much better than Dropbox's method. I hope that this new sharing method either handles it the same way as the existing system, or (even better) each file is stored on the originator's SkyDrive and the shared folder is a 'view' to all of the files in one place.

Co-owner is a separate permission level. So the old way of simply "sharing" will still be available and won't take up your storage space. But if you are assigned a "co-owner", I think it does mean you now own the folder and hence it might count towards your storage. Difference between the two is, "co-owner" you can sync to local and work offline (plus inviting others to the folder) whilst "shared" you can only view it online.

I hate that!, i prefer the way it is on windows phone right now, all the files online, and if I want to see it, just click it and that's all

The way Windows does it is required for shared filespace. If an app needs to read or write to it then there has to be an offline copy or file operations will be very slow. A persistent online-only file is too slow for random access.

Nik Rolls, Use DropBox's "Selective Sync" feature to choose what you want stored locally on your Hard Disk.

Having the files that I want, local on my Hard Disk, is great for all the times when there isn't internet, it's too slow or too expensive.

Best Wishes, No Worries

Would love to see this feature. Ideal to create a single folder for entire Family and everyone can add pictures to it after any party.

I have found family room complicated and not user friendly...most of my family is on android and IOS. Great idea but just isn't working the way I'd hoped. Also, on skydrive, creating a group to share pictures has proven to be cumbersome for me...I cannot add pictures to the group that I already have backed up on SkyDrive. Only way I see to share Group Folder pictures is to upload them from PC which is redundant if they're already backed up in camera roll. Maybe I missed something? Meh.

Will I be able to share documents to people without forcing them to sign up for an account. Currently with Skydrive this is buggy as hell and almost never work, despite correct settings.

What's the bugs?

Also yes - an account is not needed as long as you set the permissions correctly (i.e. With link or Public)

Just like I said, people can't access the files, and get forwarded to a create account page, even with permissions set to public. There are loads of support threads on this, no solution. Bugs bugs bugs.

ehmm I always share documents and I test them in "private mode" which obviously wouldnt have an account signed in. and I dont expect people I share my files with to be signed in either
you can tell skydrive to ask for log in or not. usually when you send it by email...

but you can get the link and share it, edit or only view. and they dont need to sign it. and you can also make it public so anyone who has access to your skydrive can see those public folders. without the need of a link (but of course you can also get the link as well)

so dont understand whats buggy about it, it has always worked that way.

have you tried the same with other account? again, you can test it yourself with a private tab and know how it will behave the link you share. it just sounds awkward...

for example, when you share a document from office 2013, does that do the same? ask for a log in?
well it seems you could just have bad luck, but if you could always create a new account if the one you have seems to have weird bugs that wont be fixed since they are rare bugs that affects individual accounts. but I guess good luck with that.

So, this will work like Dropbox? The shared folder will appear under SkyDrive in my Windows file Explorer? FINALLY

That's as I understand it yes. LONG overdue. Now all we need is a context menu option to copy a hyperlink for sharing, without it sending us to a webpage to get it.

So if I have, lets say 10GB of data in one folder I want to share with someone whos max storage is 7GB. Will storage cause a limitation with this?

good point, but i don't it will have any limitations since it's just a folder your are sharing and which i would think has nothing to do with your available space

I hope they give us more free storage! :D

Right now I have my standard 7GB, my free 200GB from my Surface2, and my recent extra 20GB for being a "loyal" Skydrive user... 227GB total!

That's not to mention my free 50GB of AT&T Locker, the 5GB @iCloud...  and I forget how much Dropbox I have now...  

SkyDrive/One drive is $100/year for 200GB. I pay $100/year to DropBox for 100GB. The google and the apple cost even more.

I'm wondering if they'll bring back access to PC local drives for Win 8.1. That was the best feature that went missing.

Yep. File fetch. I used to rave about it to get people to start using SkyDrive. Then MS removed it :(

I really, REALLY hate the name OneDrive. I try to back MS as much as I can, I have bought in to their entire ecosystem; but, someone better own the name "MyDrive" if not MS dropped the ball.

Microsoft doesn't own "One". They aren't even using it in the same context that they use it on Xbox. Its time to work on branding and they need to find their "i", and "One" isn't it because the next Xbox will require another name.

Well they own the worldwide rights to "OneDrive", "OneNote", "Xbox One", etc.  and I personally think OneDrive is a great name.  I loved SkyDrive and hated OneDrive before, but now I actually love it.  It just makes sense.  One drive for everything.

I totally get "one drive for everything". It just doesn't flow in every day conversation. "Save that to your one drive" and "Save that to your OneDrive" sound identical when spoken.

I didn't think about it that way. Makes it a little easier to take. Still like "MyDrive". It just flows in a sentence.

Does this mean shared photo albums will now appear in photo albums on everyone's wp instead of just the creator?!

Yup :)  "Co-owned" folders means you and whoever co-owns that folder will see it as a folder as if they owned it themselves.  That's the diff between Co-Owned and Shared folders :)

Excellent feature! I have several clients that I've walked through the process of finding and using SkyDrive in their file explorer and shown them how Office allows them to save files directly to SkyDrive, which they've shared with me. Meanwhile, I have to have a folder on my PC and manually upload new docs to their SkyDrive.

I can't wait for co-ownership! It will be like a local network share available to multiple users. I wonder if I can assign a drive letter to it... Yeah, old skool analogy. ;-)

Will this allow the co-owners to share one space? Like could I merge my 25GB and my wife's 7GB into one 32GB drive?

I suspect you could make it look like that with a bit of creativity. This could be interesting, I currently have 5 25 gig spaces plus my primary 248 gig setup.

This is obviously the point why Dropbox is taking up space from both owners. People would simply share folders with themselves, instead of paying for additional storage.

What I'd like to know is how this co-owning will coexist with paid subscriptions and disk quotas. I mean, if I add my wife with a starter's 7 GB account to co-own my 100+ GB Photos folder, will she be able to use it as I do? And when she adds files, are they going to be added to my OneDrive or hers?

It's kinda obvious how that should work, but I wonder how it will...

Yay the ability to share a synced folder is back from the dead.. live mesh days and live sync days... Its funny they make it sound like a new feature. More like a removed feature.. worst remove ever!!!

I'm pissed with SkyDrive so far... from all the promotions for extra space (i believe they had like 2 or 3 of them with extra 20GB space) I didn't get any. so with two Windows Phones , Windows 8.1 Laptop and Tablet - I'm using Skydrive with only 7GB space and my Lumia 1020 eating most of the space with it's 41MP cam... smh SkyDrive aka OneDrive reps - not good! 

All of those 20GB promotions are temporary, so what's in it for you? 20 or 40 GB for a year, nothing interesting.

$50 a year for 100 GB or $100 for 200 GB is a fair price.

Is it just me, or is it odd Microsoft is involved in all these stupid naming lawsuits and they always back down. To the original owners of "SkyDrive": are you happy now? Are all your clients lest confused now?

These guys need to figure out how to get their metro skydrive app to sort by date. Without that, its pretty much useless.

Did anybody ever mention whether they are also renaming SkyDrive Pro? I'd actually prefer if they didn't name it OneDrive Pro, but used different names

I'm also searching for it!!! I told all my group of friends yesterday to register to OneDrive so we could share the documents we're all working on as a group, and only searched for the new feature this morning, and... it's not there... Now I look stooopid!! Ahah!

It's been a month and this "co-author" functionality is still not available asfar as I can tell.  Hope it comes soon.