Microsoft fixes major performance issue for OneDrive on Linux following backlash

OneDrive users on Linux recently started noticing performance issues recently. Linux users reportedly started noticing weird issues with services that are powered by OneDrive, including services like Word Online. Following the discovery, a lot of Linux users started complaining and assumed that Microsoft was intentionally slowing down OneDrive and Office Online apps for Linux. Thankfully, the issue has now been fixed and a Microsoft engineer even explained the reason behind the performance issues.

According to the engineer, the performance problems were caused by an issue on OneDrive that Microsoft claims was not intentional. The engineer explained that Office Online apps included a file (StaticLoad.aspx) that was used to prefetch resources in the background for the apps using the “link prefetching browser mechanism.” The mechanism worked perfectly fine on Windows, Mac, Chrome OS and iOS, but on Linux, Office Online apps were not using this mechanism and they’re instead utilizing a less efficient mechanism — probably due to incorrect User Agents. As a result, users were facing performance issues on Office Online apps in Linux.

Here’s the full explanation:

“We know that some users may have experienced difficulty accessing OneDrive for Business on Linux. The issue was resolved as of Tue, March 22nd 3pm PST. We identified that StaticLoad.aspx, a page that prefetches resources in the background for Office online apps was using the link prefetching browser mechanism only for certain platforms (iOS, Chrome OS, Mac, Windows), but for Linux it was falling back to a less efficient technique that was causing the issue.

Rest assured that this was not intentional. It was an oversight. The prefetching optimization was disabled, and it will be enabled again soon after an update for StaticLoad.aspx has been tested on Linux and released.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused.”

Microsoft rolled out the fix for the issue on Tuesday, and users no longer seem to have any performance related issues on OneDrive anymore.

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