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Windows 8: New Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer

Microsoft has revealed today the new Windows Explorer user interface in Windows 8. In another Building Windows 8 blog post by Steven Sinofsky, we learn about how the Ribbon UI will be an integral part of Windows Explorer and how the company has focused on making things optimal and streamlined.

Microsoft focused on three main goals when working on the new Windows Explorer. First, Explorer needed to be optimized for file management tasks. Microsoft is planning on returning Explorer to its roots as an efficient file manager. Second, there needs to be a streamlined command experience. Mcrosoft is planning on placing the most used commands in the most prominent parts of the interface, so a user can find what they want faster. The new user interface will feature better organization and relevant information where you need it. Lasty, Explorer needs to respect its heritage. Microsoft hopes to bring back some of the features seen in Windows XP’s explorer and tie it into Windows 8.

As far as the new Ribbon UI goes, Microsoft believes that it meets all three goals. “The ribbon would allow us to create an optimized file manager where commands would have reliable, logical locations in a streamlined experience. The flexibility of the ribbon with many icon options, tabs, flexible layout and groupings also ensured that we could respect Explorer’s heritage. We could present a rich set of commands without removing access to previously top-level commands, something we knew was really important to our customers. As it so happens, while not primarily a touch interface, the ribbon also provides a much more reliable and usable touch-only interface than pull-down menus and context menus,” Sinofsky stated.

The new Ribbon UI exposes hidden features, provides keyboard shortcuts, and UI customizations with the quick access toolbar. Take a look below for a screenshot of the new Explorer UI:

84% of what users do in Windows Explorer are now all available in one Home tab:

The Share tab makes it easy to zip files, email files, or burn files:



In this screenshot, we see the keyboard shortcuts that are available:

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