updated 04:30 am EST, Tue January 31, 2012
Windows 8 to expand presence of ribbon UI
Ilana Smith, a lead program manager on the Windows Engineering System team has authored a new post outlining some of the recent developments with Windows 8. The most notable piece of news coming out of Redmond is that after receiving a 'voluminous response' on the controversial addition of the ribbon UI to Explorer, Microsoft has decided to pursue its implementation in the final release of Windows 8. The ribbon UI first made its appearance in Microsoft's Office suite of applications, and was also considered a controversial update on the more traditional file menu system.
According to Smith, while some users were quite vocal in their opposition to the ribbon UI being more widely deployed in the Windows experience, a significant majority of users gave the new UI element positive feedback saying that it enhanced their daily workflow. However, Smith was also quick to point out that the ribbon will be minimized by default and that users can choose to access the functionality if they choose. Further, Smith alluded to third-party interface tweaking extensions that can customize the way Windows functions beyond the options Microsoft deploys. Microsoft also produced some graphs, embedded below, highlighting the users responses to the interface and the general use of its functionality.
Microsoft also outlined some less obvious changes in the way Windows 8 functions including the way the OS identifies duplicate files during conflict resolution, the way copy works including the way confirmations and interruptions are handled, navigation pane scrolling, the way picture orientation metadata is handled, the pin to Start function, and the PowerShell.