People who used Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage system for a couple of years can surely recall that it had some “smart files” which were commonly referred to as placeholders. Not only was it one of the few features which Microsoft offered in terms of making Windows 8 tolerable but they also let its users to see all files which were stored on the OneDrive in the Windows File Explorer.
These features were pretty scarce and did not allow users to sync them to their respective devices. Such files would stream to Windows-operated devices only when they were opened in terms of saving a lot of space on the respective PC whilst still being able to access any other files which were stored in OneDrive.
Microsoft released a beta version of Windows 10 about two years ago and unfortunately it did not support any smart files. The current version of Windows 10 still does not support them despite the constant complaints from customers who used this service. Windows 10 users do not have the options of having files and folders stream on their respective devices on demand as they did before.
Google has recently announced the fact that they are bringing the capabilities of smart files to their own cloud storage system entitled Google Drive but with a completely other name, thus being called Drive File Stream. It will be available for those who use Windows and MacOS and will be only made available for those who are enrolled into the G Suite’s Early Access Program.
Dropbox has also got one of the same features which is called Smart Sync. This feature, similarly to Google’s version is in its beta phase and it is already encountering some difficulties. It is not available for users who are having Windows 10 installed on their devices. Dropbox’s smart sync system has only been made available for those who use Windows 7 and MacOS 10.9 versions. Microsoft has yet to release a statement regarding why did they drop the smart files system as it was one of the most amazing perks a Windows user could have.