Microsoft said Monday that it had bought Mover, a company that helps users move their files from one cloud storage provider to another, as a way to funnel users to OneDrive and Microsoft 365.
Swapping cloud storage providers isn’t as easy as replacing a SIM card within a phone: Potentially hundreds of gigabytes of user data must be downloaded and re-uploaded, putting an enormous strain on a broadband service’s data cap. The alternative is giving a potentially unknown transfer provider your username and password, so that they can facilitate the transfer themselves. With its purchase of Mover, Microsoft is signalling that it’s going to remove those worries.
Of course, the transfer from Box, Dropbox, Egnyte, and Google Drive to OneDrive will probably be one-way. In a blog post, Microsoft also indicated that Microsoft 365 (including OneDrive and SharePoint) will be the priority, implying a business focus that may or may not be tied to its enterprise-focused Microsoft 365 service. Consumer tools may be provided, too, but it sounds like we’ll have to wait for Microsoft’s Ignite conference at the beginning of November to hear more.
“Together with Mover, we’ll continue to provide customers with fast and reliable migrations to the cloud, with best practices and security and more connectors to more source systems, ultimately making the move into Microsoft 365 as seamless and cost effective as possible,” Jeff Teper, the corporate vice president of Office, SharePoint, and OneDrive said in a statement.
That sums it up rather nicely: While Microsoft’s not going to stop you from using a local hard drive to back up your data, you’ll notice OneDrive becoming increasingly pervasive on Windows 10 and new PCs, too. It’s almost getting a bit too aggressive, backing up your desktop, photos, and documents folder by default (you can turn it off). That doesn’t leave much opportunity to copy a file before OneDrive sends it up to the cloud. (Right-clicking the OneDrive icon on your taskbar allows you to manage it, though.)
OneDrive is great for managing files if you hopscotch among PCs on a regular basis, and for restoring data while setting up a new PC for home and office. Microsoft may be aiming to make OneDrive and SharePoint your network-connected hard drive for your PC, though, and it’s going to lure you and your business in with convenient tools to do just that.