Microsoft is currently pushing out new announcements like crazy on the Building Windows 8 blog. We for instance know that the company will improve file management features like copying in the new operating system. Today another major change was revealed in a very detailed post on the blog.
Windows Explorer will receive a complete redesign and will ship with many changes when the Windows 8 operating system comes out. Many users of Windows feel that the current file manager of the operating system is in desperate need of a redesign, or at least some form of optimization.
The biggest change is a new Ribbon based user interface that many Windows users know from Microsoft Office. Ribbons have been criticized in the past, especially by experienced computer users. The main points of criticism are that a ribbon interface takes up to much space, and that its tabbed interface does not speed up all operations.
The new Windows Explorer on Windows 8 looks like this:
You see the ribbon interface at the top. To make up for the space requirements the status bar was reduced to a single row in Windows Explorer. Other changes that are visible immediately are a new font used for displaying files and folders and the dynamic Tools listing on the title bar.
The Home tab of the new interface offers buttons for the most popular Windows Explorer features. Microsoft analyzed the command usage and found out that only two of the top 10 Windows Explorer commands are currently visible in the command bar in Windows 7. Windows Explorer on Windows 8 will provide access to all those commands directly from the Home tab.
If you are wondering, here is the top 10 Windows Explorer command list:
The Share and View tabs are always displayed in Windows Explorer.
Dynamic tabs are displayed in addition to that. They depend largely on the current location that is displayed in Windows Explorer. Disk Tools are for instance added as a tab to the computer location. Here it is possible to format, cleanup or optimize a drive, use the Bitlocker encryption or work with removable media and rewritable discs.
Here is a video that showcases the new Explorer of Windows 8.
It is interesting to note that the Windows 8 Explorer will display more files and folders than Explorer of Windows 7. What I'm personally curious about is if Microsoft manages to get the view modes working properly in the new operating system. Another requested feature, the ability to display two Explorer panes with files in one Windows Explorer menu does not seem to have made it into the new version of Windows Explorer.
The most interesting part of the whole blog post is the end, if you ask me. Microsoft confirms that power users will be able to create their own personalized version by minimizing the ribbon ui and configuring a quick access bar instead. Plus, they get access to nearly every command available via keyboard shortcuts.
Here are a few screenshots that showcase the new design:
What's your take on this new Explorer, and especially the Ribbon UI? (via Microsoft Showcases New Windows Explorer With Ribbon UI)
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