OneDrive is a great idea. It really is. But Microsoft’s implementation is so buggy that it is bordering on useless. For a solution like OneDrive, which is really a core part of the operating system, to work it needs to be reliable and today it is not reliable. Far from it.
I have had so many problems with OneDrive (as well as the old SkyDrive) that it is unbelievable not to mention unacceptable. Several times it has just crashed completely on the machine and to get it working again I have had to use Microsoft’s fix-OneDrive tools which of course you have to hunt down a link to on the web or even re-install the OS.
At the time of writing this the OneDrive icon in the quick launch area of the taskbar on the Desktop on all my Windows 8 machines are just stuck showing the “synching” icon. If I hover over the icon it gives you a tool tip saying “OneDrive is starting up…” which luckily is bullshit since OneDrive is indeed running normally on the machine…or at least so I think. You really never know with OneDrive unfortunately.
However, on one my Windows 8 tablets I opened one of my applications the other day just to check something. This is an application that I do not usually use on that tablet but the data it needs is in my OneDrive documents folder. To my great surprised the application showed data that was a week old. When looking closer on the file system I noticed that lots of data was simply not synched. Of course I had not received any notifications whatsoever that anything was wrong. What the heck?
When I opened the OneDrive app (which I normally never use since I really have no need to use that app to browse my files) and clicked on the little sync status text (which just said that it was syncing) I finally got a message saying that one of my file paths were to long and prevented OneDrive from syncing.
What the fuck kind of worthless crap is that? First of all, it had synced perfectly well on my other machines. Why this problem on one of my devices only? Second, how the fuck can you allow one error like this stop the sync from working altogether? I had to go to OneDrive on the web and rename two folders in order to get sync working again on my tablet.
Now, having done that and gotten sync to work again (kind of) the bloody crapware started to download the full versions of all the files on my OneDrive. Not the on-demand links but everything. I had not asked for this. This is a 100 or so Gb. Of course it filled up my tablet in short order. I had to go through hoops to get it back to normal, stopping sync, clicking several times on the make all files on-line, running the SkyDrive /restart command etc. etc. before everything went back to normal.
This is totally unacceptable. As I wrote at the beginning, if you integrate something like this, that deeply in the OS, the users have to feel that they can trust it. That is certainly not the case today. And then I have not even begun to mention the missing features and the piss-poor control you have over it. For instance, I want to be able to control which folders that are synced altogether which I can do on Windows 7 but not on Windows 8.
Please Microsoft, get some developers and project managers that actually use their PC’s for real work and not just games and media consumption to sort this mess out!