OneDrive is bringing back Placeholders, renamed as ‘On-Demand Sync’

Once upon a time in a land far far away, there was a product known as ‘Windows Live Mesh.’ This product was ingenious, and some would say even ahead of its time. It gave its user’s cloud storage that could sync with PCs – but it gave a few features that nobody really appreciated until they were gone.

OneDrive is somewhat of a spiritual successor to Live Mesh; the only thing common between OneDrive and Live Mesh is the shared idea.

OneDrive On-Demand Sync

The story of Microsoft’s cloud storage solution(s) has been riddled with twists and turns. The product(s?) has been re-built and re-named three or four times over the past six years, so it was no surprise when Microsoft decided to strip out features.

In Windows 8, the integrated OneDrive supported a feature called ‘Placeholders’ that “streamed” files on-demand. Essentially, you could store a gig worth of photos on the cloud, and have them show up on your PC like they were actually on your PC – but they weren’t. Sounds confusing right? It was for many users, and that is one of the excuses Microsoft gave when they removed this feature from Windows 10.

It’s back

The feature is now making a re-appearance as ‘On-Demand Sync.’ It seems to work in pretty much the same way as it did before – your files are in the cloud, but they appear as if they are on your PC.

Microsoft didn’t announce when this update will be released for consumers. However, it would be safe to assume that this would be part of the upcoming Windows 10 Redstone 2 update.

Though, hopefully, the Insiders will get to have a taste of it first – so we can have an early look at how it works and what is changed (if anything).

Image Credit: @maxmelcher

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