Sep 15 2011

Windows 8: A walk around with Windows Explorer

lyuebtb0_thumb Windows 8: A walk around with Windows ExplorerHaving loaded Windows 8 DP [Developers Preview] on to my VirtualBox machine for testing…

I was digging through the Windows Explorer, or the file manager for Windows and I thought I would pass on some things I was noticing with the new interface.

The new Windows Explorer is utilizing the ribbon GUI  interface that’s being used with the Windows live essentials suite and Microsoft office package. The ribbon GUI interface is not something that I would consider efficient, but it is an interface that is simple to use, requires very little explanation  and most likely, for Microsoft support, easy to explain— I would dare to say that it would probably make it a little bit easier to port to a tablet PC as well.

I don’t think anyone is really going to know how the new interface fares until we start seeing the release of the new Tablet PCs that Microsoft is planning on releasing with Samsung.

 Windows Explorer – Home Tab

I’m glad to see that a new operating system is what it takes to get a directory UP button; yes, I’m glad to see that’s back. At least its obvious now. I like how they have also realized that you need to be able to copy the path of a file from time to time. They have added the function to not only select one file, but multiple files and copy the paths of all the items selected to the clipboard [very useful].

4vcgzxrb_thumb Windows 8: A walk around with Windows Explorer

And from this tab in Windows explorer, the Easy Access was another point of focus…

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Always available offline? and Sync [to the cloud]?

I’m still working on that… Microsoft is placing a lot of emphasis on the usage of cloud storage, portable computing and being able to access your information from anywhere; using their Skydrive.


Windows Explorer – Share Tab

ysigbu51_thumb Windows 8: A walk around with Windows Explorer

I like what they’ve done with making more sharing options right there; its very public now. The option to eMail, and zip and FAx [although legacy]— but very nice to have in the open.


Windows explorer – View Tab

As far as Windows Explorer, they have very irritated some improvements. And as far as the ribbon GUI; I hate it— I believe it’s a ineffiencient design, but it’s simple, and simplified…

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But the new Windows Explorer does offer the users access to the more utilized features to had people digging in the past to see certain information. The developer version of Windows 8, does have some bugs. Initially I noticed that when I selected the file, shown above, I could see detailed information about the file on the right-hand side plus a preview of the JPEG, but once it was moved off of that selection I wasn’t able to get the preview information back [so there’s bugs].

Being able to turn on the preview and the detail pane seems useful. I’m sure it’s something that I would most likely use on a regular basis. And I think that goes for the rest of the options that I have to talk about on the view tab.

Grouping information, adding columns and automatically sizing all the columns to fit in the viewpoint are good options to have. Tomorrow options that would like to mention right off the bat is the filename extensions and the hidden items; this is always been a problem in the past for tech support personnel— seeing the extension names; it’s a very useful piece of information when dealing with an individual who has no idea about technical knowledge of the computer.

Also the option for hidden items. This refers to system files and DLLs. This is where most IT gurus would go in to the buried settings of Windows Explorer and make it to where ALL files are visible. Having this option on a toggle is very useful.

There’s also another toggle in the bottom right-hand corner; switching between details and previews of file.


Windows Explorer – Dynamic Interaction

I think one of the more useful functions of the new Windows Explorer window/file manager is going to be that when people select files, based on the extension of the file or what it is, a manage tab will appear at the top of the Windows Explorer screen, where users will have the option to choose actions based on the type of file that they’re looking at or have selected.

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This interface is very similar to what users are already seeing with the Windows live essentials suite and Microsoft office. This place is options at the top of the screen with user can see it where as in the past they would have to right-click to see what the options are for those individual items.

Here’s another example of the dynamic interaction; screenshot:

z1jzy13a_thumb Windows 8: A walk around with Windows Explorer


Microsoft has been making a lot of changes to the user interface, and that’s good… I think a good point here is that Microsoft seems to be realizing; what are the most used functions of Windows Explorer, how can we make those functions easier and required less technical training to maneuver the operating system?

I hope this helps… someone.


Thank you,
Larry Henry Jr. 

zemified_c Windows 8: A walk around with Windows Explorer

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