Microsoft outlines Explorer tweaks in Win8 beta

The upcoming Windows 8 public beta will no doubt offer a myriad of improvements over last year’s developer preview. Microsoft has outlined a handful of them in its latest update to the Building Windows 8 blog. The post addresses changes to Explorer, several of which were apparently made in response to user feedback.

Among them: users can now pin folders to their Metro start screen for easy access. The "ribbon" interface is minimized by default in Explorer windows. Explorer now reads EXIF metadata for picture orientation, so JPEG thumbnails will look right. Also, during a network file copy, the OS detects if you plug in an Ethernet cable and automatically switches to the faster connection on the fly, provided both peers on the network are running Windows 8.

I’m pretty excited about that last one. I suspect you’ll feel the same way if, like me, you routinely copy a 12GB benchmark suite and tens of gigabytes of Steam game backups to review laptops.

You can check out the complete blog post for a full list of changes and some screenshots. According to The Verge, the Windows 8 public beta is due out next month, so we should all get to see these improvements first-hand very soon.

Comments closed
    • axeman
    • 8 years ago

    na na na na na na na na na na na na Flame War!

    • Madman
    • 8 years ago

    I can’t wait when we will finally be able to leave greasy fingerprints over our FullHD+ multimonitor setups. Unity on Ubuntu is already there, what’s taking Windows so long?

    Grease! It’s so cool!

    • BobbinThreadbare
    • 8 years ago

    Wait. Hold on just a second. I need to get this straight.

    [quote<]Among them: users can now pin folders to their Metro start screen for easy access.[/quote<] The ability to add a shortcut to a folder on the defacto desktop is something that has just been added recently, and only in response to user feedback? Am I understanding this correctly? [quote<]Also, during a network file copy, the OS detects if you plug in an Ethernet cable and automatically switches to the faster connection on the fly, provided both peers on the network are running Windows 8. I'm pretty excited about that last one. I suspect you'll feel the same way if, like me, you routinely copy a 12GB benchmark suite and tens of gigabytes of Steam game backups to review laptops.[/quote<] If you know you're going to be transferring 12+ gigabytes of data, don't you usually plug your cable in first?

      • Arag0n
      • 8 years ago

      Sometimes you don’t really realize how big a folder is, until you already started copying, or you just think that WiFi should be ok, and then after 5m, for some reason you need to make it faster. It’s good you dont need to restart or guess were you stopped to continue properly. Sure you can do all in advance, but everything that improves your capability to solve your mistakes is a welcome.

        • Madman
        • 8 years ago

        Yes because Win7 is calculating and estimating for the first 3 hours ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

      • funko
      • 8 years ago

      From the videos it doesnt look like the metro start screen is the defacto desktop. the win8 desktop looks just like win7 to me. the start menu has been replaced with the metro start screen AFAIK

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]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. [/quote<] Actually chuckled on that one.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 8 years ago

    Oh, _Explorer_, not Internet Explorer. Gotcha.

    Seriously, if the only thing WIndows 8 gives the world is a decent web browser, I’ll be thrilled. And then someone needs to write a virus that upgrades everyone using older versions of IE to it (or whatever good browser their OS supports). Maybe just obliterate their machine if they’re using something that can’t be upgraded to IE10. It’s time to pay the piper.

      • Ifalna
      • 8 years ago

      I already have one. It’s called “Opera”. So please don’t blow up my computer. :<

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    Ohhhh, I don’t know why – For some reason im just totally not interested in this one bit??? In contrast, I couldn’t wait to get the W7 public beta, and then ultimately the final W7 version on release day.

    Maybe i’ve lost my inner-geek, or have some subliminal hatred of block colours and tiles for an interface… :-/

      • Ihmemies
      • 8 years ago

      It’s the interface, it wastes a truckload of space with goofy huge logos, fonts & pastel colors @ 2560×1600..

      Also everything is hidden in some new place and behind many clicks. In windows 7 shutdown is behind 2 clicks, in WIndows 8 I had to watch a youtube video how to shut down my &ยค(&ยค computer.

        • WaltC
        • 8 years ago

        Pretty sure the Metro GUI is [url=http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-talks-about-having-two-user-interfaces-for-windows-8<]optional in Win8[/url<] and intended solely for touch-screen devices and smart phones. Officially, there will be two GUI's in Win8--the oogly Metro touch-screeny thingy for tablets and cell phones with T-screens, and the familiar PC interface for the far superior mouse & keyboard GUI combo that most of us will greatly prefer. IE, there's the standard Windows GUI for personal computing, and then there's the Metro T-screen GUI for everything else. I guess the confusion to date has been Microsoft's fault to some degree because it has been concentrating on Metro as a discussion topic lately. But honestly I don't see much point in robustly trying to push Win8 anytime soon as Win7 still has plenty of legs and Microsoft is still selling Win7 fairly briskly at the moment--won't be too long until the number of Win7 seats outnumbers the total number of current Vista and WinXP seats combined--and that's a hell of a record for Win7, imo. But like you, because of these things I'm not chomping at the bit for a new OS as I feel I still have a good deal of unused potential left in Win7, whereas when Vista came along I was ready and willing to get into something new and improved as XP had gotten really long in the tooth. I think MS is wrong to want to do completely new OS versions every three years--I've always thought that was way too short a span both for developers and customers to really sink their teeth into a new OS. A new OS shipping about every five years sounds like the sweet spot to me: way better than XP, but longer between releases than either Vista or Win7.

          • Deanjo
          • 8 years ago

          From a business stand point, supporting an OS long term reaps little rewards. XP happened to the exeception to MS’s OS release plans with all other versions of windows being released within a 3 year period.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 years ago

      Most likely you’re not dying to get off the OS you’re using like you were when Win7 was in beta – XP and Vista were huge steps down and now we’re seeing incremental improvements.

      • Kollaps
      • 8 years ago

      Did you watch the video? Looked like legitimate improvemates all around and the ribbon style wasn’t forced on you. What struck me is just how much it looked like Windows 7 despite people acting like this is the end of the world.

        • geekl33tgamer
        • 8 years ago

        I did watch the video, and yes it’s got some incremental improvements over W7. I think derFunkenstein’s comment above is on point – I am sat here thinking what difference it will make to my day to day computing over W7 on a desktop (with mouse and keyboard).

        And at the moment, it’s feeling like very little – It will look and run in many ways exactly like their current OS does. I skipped Vista, so my upgrade path was from XP to W7, and IMO W7 is quite a solid OS, and for me at least performs very well with minimal fuss.

        On tablets, I can see the benifits of that Metro interface, but my main use for an OS like this will be on my desktop. It doesn’t feel like W7 is due for replacement just yet?

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