Tuesday, December 23, 2014

5 Things I hate about Microsoft's OneDrive - formerly SkyDrive.

Copy what's out there.

Simple functions that make DropBox and GoogleDrive easy are not available in OneDrive.  My pet peeves are around basic file management functions.  

1.) Sharing a folder - The person you share the folder with can't upload files to the folder.  What good is this?  We grant read only or edit privileges, but our collaborators can't collaborate by adding files to the folder.  DropBox does it and Google Drive does it.  This really limits my ability to collaborate.  

2.) Copy a folder - You can move folders and delete folders, but you can't copy a folder?!  You can copy an item in a folder.  What a pain in the butt!  I need to copy a folder that contains several sub-folders that collectively make up a template for new projects.  My work around was to download the whole folder group, rename it and attempt to upload it again.   Fail!  One Drive bombs on trying to upload folders within folders.  Help!  DropBox is the best at this.  You can do it online and offline.  GoogleDrive you have to copy offline and let the replicate to the online folder.

3.) SharePiont - Microsoft is trying to force feed us SharePoint for some of these basic things.  I thought maybe a business version of DropBox was the answer until I set up a free account and saw a SharePoint looking UI.  No thank you!  I had a bright student intern sum up SharePoint when she said "using SharePoint makes me feel stupid!"  You are not alone.  A classic case of a company investing so much for so long that you just can help yourself from not doing it any more.    Ditch Sharepoint as an end user solution and get OneDrive to work like DropBox or Google Drive.  It is too easy to get lost in there.  Who wants to check in and check out documents.  Collaborate like GoogleDocs does.

OneDrive doesn't play well with a Mac.  

4.) OneDrive is not compatible with older versions of the Mac OS like version 10.6.8 

5.) Synching - After a successful install the synch process crashes if the file path name in one of the folders is too long.  This doesn't happen in DropBox or Google Drive.  Starting the synch process requires logging in and clicking through several steps.  One of the steps is selecting the folders that you want to synch.  Because the long file name was crashing the synch my logic was to avoid the folders with files that have long file path names. So I deselected those folders in the synch set up.  I still get the error messages and it still won't synch!   Solution... skip the problem files rather than killing the whole process.  Create a list of problem files to be resolved later.   I still haven't successfully synced!  I have too many files to clean up before I can get there. 

I know what you are thinking, I should just use DropBox or Google Drive right?  I would, but I am trying to provide a solution for a company that is primarily a Microsoft shop and everyone uses the Office Products.  So working in an environment like OneDrive that allows for editing of Excel and Word documents online promises simple access from OneDrive.  But as we early adopters have come to expect of Microsoft, suffering through their early releases is the norm.  But this isn't an early release.

Since there is no easy way to communicate design issues to the engineers we are left with complaining in the Social Sphere.  If there is enough traction to get their attention hopefully  these features will be pushed to the front of the development queue.