Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Microsoft details Windows 8's file explorer

updated 01:55 pm EDT, Mon August 29, 2011

Microsoft outlines changes to Windows 8 Explorer

Microsoft on Monday took the time to detail Windows 8's file explorer on its Developer Network blog. It's being described as the first substantial change to the most widely used desktop tool in a long time. The improvements are meant to eliminate the need for replacement add-ons to be used by power users when managing files on their computers.

Microsoft looked at telemetry data to judge which functions are most common and which areas need the most changes. It found that the majority of the frequently used commands are hidden in sub-menus, so making them more accessible in a refined user interface was a priority. Also, customer requests to bring back some Windows XP features were also considered. These included the 'Up' button, the cut, copy and paste into the top-level user interface and a more customizable command surface. More keyboard shortcuts were also requested.

The team then set out three main goals when redesigning Explorer in Windows 8. These included optimizing it for file management tasks, streamlining the commands and organizing them and do both while maintaining Explorer's heritage.

After looking at several options, the team chose an Office-style ribbon. It allowed the placement of the most important commands in prominent locations, grouped them accordingly and puts about 200 commands in an easy and consistent view without needing menus, pop-ups, dialog boxes and right-click menus. It should also be familiar to many existing customers. It will also translate better with touch interfaces. It also provides keyboard shortcuts for all commands in the ribbon and lets users customize it with the quick access toolbar.

The ribbon houses three main tabs: Home, Share, and View, along with a File menu and a variety of contextual tabs.

A new Search Tools contextual tab launches when the search box is clicked. It lets users filter results by date ranges, file type, size and author or name. Searches can then be saved for later use. Library, Picture, and Disk Tools are other contextual tabs.

Screen real estate was another user concern. As widescreen formats are the most common, the team optimized the new Explorer for this layout by removing the header at the top of the main view and moving the Details pane to the right side. A one-line status bar at the bottom of the window shows critical information. The new look allows two more lines of files compared to Windows 7 on a 1366x768 resolution screen. Closing the ribbon grants even more vertical real estate.

The Quick Access Toolbar allows adding any button in the ribbon to it. This brings the customization levels equal to or greater than that in Windows XP.

The team is still working on finalizing some details of Explorer for Windows 8. More details are likely to show at the Build conference in September.

Explorer Windows 8





Contextual Search tab





The return of the Up button










By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

  1. BigMac2

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 2000

    0

    Ribbon disaster and Tablet

    I don't know what is Microsoft deal with ribbon, but I don't see how ribbon could be a good replacement for menus, Office 2010 is a UI disaster, no more menu, multiple way to access same dialog boxes, many terms renaming, etc. Beside Microsoft ribbon UI with sub-menu and options thru contextual menus doesn't work for touch input, I have yet to see a real touch UI interface from Microsoft, after all Windows 8 was suppose to be Microsoft response for the emerging Tablets market that Microsoft has failed since the last decade.

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...

VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD

USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...

Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News