Microsoft seeks to unify OneDrive experience with new Android client

onedrive

As part of its push to bring non-Windows clients into the OneDrive fold, Microsoft has updated its OneDrive Android client so users can access both their work and personal files from the same device, although they will have to sign into and out of two OneDrive accounts (personal and business) to do so.

The same one-device-for-all-files access is planned for Apple iOS and Windows OneDrive clients as well, said Michal Gideoni, director of product management for Microsoft Office 365.

The co-mingling of personal and corporate data is a knotty problem exacerbated by the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) tidal wave. Most people use their personal devices for work and that leads to potential for corporate data leakage or misuse. Companies from VMware to Microsoft to IBM are all attacking that problem with so-so results. Amazon Web Services just made Zocalo available as a way for customers to store and share files using its platform.

OneDrive Android client

Cloud file storage vendors battle on multiple fronts

Microsoft and Google are racing to get more data into their respective OneDrive and Google Drive repositories. Last week, for example, Google touted several third-party options that help users move files to Google Drive. The theory is that once your stuff is in a given cloud, you’ll be more likely to use associated tools and applications from that same cloud provider. It’s all about stickiness.

Google and Microsoft are attacking this opportunity from their positions as humongous platform players. Point-product companies like Dropbox and Box are trying to offer better ease-of-use and cross-platform support to woo business customers, while also becoming more platform-oriented themselves.

Part of the problem for Microsoft is that the consumer-oriented OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) and OneDrive for Business are two different code bases at the back end. OneDrive for Business is essentially Sharepoint Server.

Gideoni would not say if there are plans in place to make a more uniform backend, but repeated that the aim is to provide a “single, unified OneDrive” user experience with access to personal and workplace documents.

The new app is now downloadable from the Google app store.

Note: This story was updated at 8:32 a.m. PST with a link to the Google app store.

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