Jump to content

Windows Explorer changes in the pipeline for Windows 8 beta


Recommended Posts

As we approach the beta, or the "Consumer Preview" to be released sometime next month, there are new details on the changes we can expect for daily file management tasks in Windows 8.

If one were to pick the top two aspects of Windows 8's user interface that have garnered the most discussion - or heated debate - the new Metro Start screen, plus the new Metro apps, would come up on top. What's number two? The new Ribbon-based Windows Explorer.

Let's backtrack to the summer, when Microsoft dropped a few tasty bits: an improved copy and paste UI that includes a copy speed graph, the ability to pause and resume transfers, and smarter file conflict resolution. The next reveal was a bit of a spicy bombshell, but not really a surprise given a leak back in April - Windows Explorer will get a makeover through the Ribbon, known as "Scenic" for Windows 7.

In responding to a mountain of feedback regarding the Explorer and a few selected wishlist items from the community, Microsoft makes it clear via today's Building Windows 8 blog post that the Ribbon in the Explorer is here to stay, despite the acknowledgement of criticism aimed at their decision:

... There is a set of people who have an entirely negative reaction to the affordance and have been telling us about it in no uncertain terms. Our view is that we do need to move the user interface forward and accept that a vocal set of customers are just not happy with the direction we're going.

With that out of the way, here are some nice little changes to look forward to when the beta arrives:

Option to ignore identical files when resolving conflicts: A checkbox will be provided at the bottom of the conflict resolution dialog, so that users don't have to bother with files that have the same file size, timestamp, and name.


Seamlessly speed up network file transfers with wire: Finding a file is taking too long over a wireless connection, but don't want to cancel what you already copied? Just connect an Ethernet cable to your computer, and assuming both computers are on the same network and running Windows 8, they'll seamlessly take advantage of the speed boost.

Explorer now respects the JPEG EXIF rotation tag: It's about time. You'll no longer have to manually rotate an image in Explorer, even though it has an EXIF rotation tag stored inside its metadata. In other words: lossless JPEG rotation is here.

Compare this in Windows 7:


... with the same photos, but a different result in Windows 8:


Ribbon is minimized by default: According to Microsoft, tests done on users showed that minimizing the Ribbon by default had little impact on casual and power users alike - casual users were able to carry out tasks just fine with a collapsed and minimal Ribbon, while power users could easily expand the Ribbon. In addition, both users alike can quickly learn common Explorer keyboard shortcuts by reading the tooltips on Ribbon buttons:


Syncing Explorer settings with Skydrive: Probably one of the few things on the classic desktop to be synced with the rest of the Metro stuff, but a nice change nevertheless: Skydrive will offer an option to sync Explorer customizations, in addition to mouse settings.

view.gif View: Original Article

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 2
  • Views 1.7k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

I like some of the features of Windows 8, like the option to ignore identical files while resolving conflicts during file transfer. That one's really handy, but other features, such as 'ribbon' and the folder name at the top of the folder window, are useless and annoying IMO.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrator

Windows 8 File Management Changes Include Minimized Ribbon

Microsoft is responding to the feedback it received on its file management by tweaking or walking away from some of the changes it planned to make.


Hell hath no fury like a Windows power user scorned, as Microsoft learned when it introduced big changes to file management in Windows 8. Now, the company is responding to the feedback by tweaking or walking away from some of the changes it planned to make.

The most contentious issue was the “Ribbon,” a set of contextual options that will appear at the top of Explorer in Windows 8. Microsoft had argued that the Ribbon's big buttons are necessary for tablet users, and for exposing features that would otherwise be hidden behind menus, but power users weren't pleased with the clutter.

In response, Microsoft will minimize the Explorer Ribbon by default in Windows 8. Also, people who still use the Ribbon will see pop-up keyboard shortcuts next to each button, so they can eventually wean themselves off of pointing and clicking. Microsoft says that by minimizing the Ribbon, it is “reducing distractions and trusting users to discover functionality on their own.”

That's not the only change Microsoft is making. From Windows Explorer, users will be able to pin shortcuts and executables to the new Metro-style Start screen. This change will come in handy for applications or file folders that don't automatically add themselves to Start.


Microsoft is also changing the way Windows 8 will handle copy operations when a system sleeps or hibernates. The original plan was to automatically resume copy jobs when the machine wakes up, but because this can cause errors if the system environment has changed, users will have to click a depressed pause button to resume copy jobs instead.

Another tweak pertains to how Windows 8 deals with duplicates during file transfers. Microsoft is adding a check box that lets the system automatically skip files with the same date, size and time -- in other words, exact duplicates.


Finally, Microsoft will add a way to sync all Explorer settings across multiple PCs. The option will appear in PC Settings, under the “Sync your settings” submenu as “Other Windows settings.”

Other minor tweaks include performance enhancements for displaying locked files, respect for EXIF orientation in JPEG images and an “Open PowerShell prompt” option in Windows Explorer. For a complete rundown, visit Microsoft's blog.

:view: View: Original Article

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...