Microsoft removed OneDrive placeholders in Windows 10 and despite users protesting against this change, the company has decided not to bring them back, introducing instead a feature that allows easy synchronization with online accounts and offline access.
In Windows 8.1, users were allowed to access OneDrive content with placeholders, a feature that made it possible to see files in the cloud without actually downloading them.
After removing this feature in Windows 10, Microsoft appears to be working to bring it back with the Redstone update in the summer and evidence that such functionality is already under development has been noticed in the recently-released build 14271.
As Twitter user @h0x0d wrote, Windows 10 Redstone build 14271 contains code that could be intended for placeholder implementation in OneDrive, but it’s not yet clear if Microsoft is seeking to replace the existing system or create a mix that would include both.
Back in late 2014 when Microsoft revealed the removal of placeholders in Windows 10 preview builds and confirmed that the change would remain in the stable version of the operating system, the company explained that it wasn’t “happy with how we built them.”
So instead, the new feature allowed users “to search all your files on OneDrive, even those that aren't synced on your PC, and access those files directly from the search result.”
This could be a sign that Microsoft is actually working on an improved version of the original placeholder feature, so the very first implementations could be made available in the upcoming builds of Redstone.
Redstone is the codename of the next Windows 10 update, which according to sources should land in the summer of this year. It’s supposed to bring several important improvements, including browser extensions, but also the removal of the desktop Control Panel that’s very likely to be replaced with the universal Settings screen.