Microsoft OneDrive for Windows 7 drives off a cliff for business users

Accidental borkage ... or a not-so-subtle hint that it really is time to move on?


Multiple customers have told The Register that OneDrive for Business on Windows 7 is falling over for them, with one reporting that Microsoft has quietly pulled the plug on support.

Free support for Windows 7 itself ended more than a year ago, but the company is still looking after deep-pocketed enterprises unwilling or unable to make the move to something more modern.

Many of the Microsoft's apps (for example its Office productivity suite) also remain supported, as does (officially, at the time of publication) the desktop client used to synchronise local storage with the cloud-based OneDrive.

However, users might disagree.

Register reader, Matt, got in touch about a fleet of Windows 7 PCs suddenly reporting a 0x8004de40 error, normally associated with an iffy connection. However, after days of attempting to resolve the issue he told us: "I've spoken to a support person at Microsoft and they have confirmed that Windows 7 is no longer supported."

OneDrive cloud storage fail

Nope

Yikes. A glance at Microsoft's online documentation says the desktop client should be there, and that download links can be found to inflict the code on a Windows 7 installation (although a tame MVP told us he had been unable to set it up: "The download won't work at all. Poor Windows 7 users," he said.)

It remains possible to access the OneDrive web site under Windows 7 (through a supported browser) and we understand that opening and saving files through Office is also possible, but the desktop client seems very unhappy. Customers posting in Microsoft's support forums also reported the issue, with one pointing to the TeamSite Permissions API as having difficulty.

"Please let me know if this is only temporary problem or One Drive service will no longer be available on Windows 7," the customer asked, only to be met by stony silence (other than a sad little "me too"-type response from another user.)

Please let me know if this is only temporary problem or One Drive service will no longer be available on Windows 7

The problem does not appear to be isolated. Cloud boffins at ekco told us that something had definitely happened and they were aware of numerous users with the same problem. They speculated that perhaps something had gone awry with authentication.

After all, it would hardly be the first time that Microsoft has rolled out an infrastructure change that had inadvertently left customers borked due to pisspoor qualification. We imagine that Windows 7 is also a long, long way down the list of testing priorities.

It is all a bit unfortunate since stashing files in the cloud has become a critical part of many company workflows, particularly in light of the hybrid working model Microsoft is all too keen to bang on about.

We asked Microsoft if OneDrive for Windows 7 was OK and the software giant promised an explanation would be forthcoming. We will update when it lands.

Microsoft was, however, more than happy to emit this particular nugget from one of its social media orifices.

"Late to the party"? Judging by the experience of its customers and the company's responsiveness, it seems to be less "late" for Windows 7 OneDrive for Business customers and more "not invited." ®

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