Dropbox's competitor for OneDrive placeholders is here, and it's coming to consumers

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Oct 23, 2012
Dropbox's competitor for OneDrive placeholders is here, and it's coming to consumers

If you were a heavy OneDrive user in the Windows 8.1 days, then you remember placeholders. All of your files would show up in Windows Explorer, and some would be stored offline while others would be online-only. You could choose how files were stored by right-clicking on it and selecting the option, or you could simply open an online-only file to store it locally and open it.

That functionality was taken away in Windows 10, but back in April, Dropbox announced Project Infinite, which provides the same functionality. Today, the company announced that it will be called Smart Sync, and is available for Dropbox Business customers in the early access program as of today.

Dropbox also noted that you won't need the latest version of the OS to use Smart Sync, which is a direct shot at OneDrive, as even if Microsoft brings it back with its On-Demand Sync, you'd still need the latest version of Windows 10. Indeed, Smart Sync will work with Windows Vista or better, and OS X 10.9 Mavericks and above.
If you're a OneDrive user that misses placeholders, then this is the point where you're asking, "what about consumers?" If that's the case, then we have good news. Dropbox confirmed to Neowin today that it is working to bring Smart Sync functionality to consumer versions of the service as well, saying the following:

While the biggest need for Smart Sync has come from our business users, the positive response we’ve heard from individual users has led us to explore ways to make Smart Sync available to them in the future as well. We are looking into technical requirements for individuals and exploring go to market options based on customer and user feedback, though don't have a specific timeline.

The only bad news is, as the statement says, there is no timeline just yet. It's great news for OneDrive users that are considering making the switch though. Make sure to stay tuned to Neowin for more information about Smart Sync as we learn more.

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Level 5
Jan 14, 2017
I really like Dropbox but I stopped using it because of its high cost (for me :oops:). Dropbox keeps improving and what I like the most about it is the integration with many third-party services. Now I am using OneDrive as part of Office 365 Personal Subscription. The new feature of Dropbox is really useful. Good for Dropbox users :D
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