Microsoft Shows Off Windows 8 Explorer, Touts Ribbon Interface

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thetechchild

Pfft. Is this supposed to be some kind of major improvement over 3rd party file explorers or *nix systems' various file managers? They still need to add tabbed browsing of directories (5 windows open is tedious in the extreme) and split pane viewing (much easier for moving/copying/cutting files).

Windows 8 is taking some steps in the right direction, but some stuff is still absurd, and most of it is still subpar in comparison to *nix and 3rd party software.

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mesiah

I used to rant about how much I hate the ribbon, but now I love it. It has made using MS access much more enjoyable (if that is possible.)

More importantly, the ribbon is a godsend for my windows 7 slate. Trying to navigate tiny menus through touch is awful. When I am on the road I prefer to use my slate and bluetooth keyboard over my laptop. I don't bother connecting a mouse because I can interact directly with the screen if needed. But with older programs that do not utlize an interface like the ribbon I have to break out the mouse or my pen to navigate.

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szore

Agreed. Once you get used to it, it's infinitly better. 

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scoop6274

double post

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scoop6274

Wow, as a linux user, I've heard these arguments before. Everytime the GUI was designed to be more user friendly the "purists" complained that linux was getting worse (I mean heck you've got the command line). Yet, linux has increased in popularity. It has become easier to use and more user friendly. Is it really that bad a thing for Windows to become more user friendly? Microsoft isn't looking to make it easier for the power user, why would they, the power user segement is shrinking. They want to make it easier for the average person to use. Just like any other company, they are looking to increase market share, not stagnate and stay the same. With Macs still stealing market share from Microsoft, they need to do something to change their OS. The biggest reason I hear that people like Macs is that they are easier. Well, the average user finds the Ribbon Interface easier. If that attracts new users or users back from Mac, then Microsoft has done its job. You need to evaluate your hatred. Do you hate Mac or Windows most. The one you hate the least will be the one you chose.

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TerribleToaster

As far as PC's go, Mac is ceding shares to MS as of the last I heard.

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Cregan89

I swear everyone on this website is f***ing retarded. You guys clearly want your computer to continue to look and work exactly as XP, so why don't you just shut up and continue using XP! The rest of us are more than happy to actually try something new and progressive. And obviously NONE of you actually read the article. They bring up many of the EXACT points you guys are complaining about and explain what they've done to address them, or why they've decided to compromise on it. I mean, let's go through some of the dumbf**k comments on here:

"Don't muck with the interface!!! Simply improve the core of the product and reduce the damn price!!!"
There's an intelligent idea. Wish MS would have used that "don't muck with the interface" logic back since Windows 3.1! Idiot. And Windows 7 Home Premium is $99. Apple sells service packs every two years for $30. Go get a job.

"That looks like WinZip's gay ribbon interface. I switched to the legacy style because ribbon looks retarded."
You made a workflow decision based on something looking "gay"? Real smart. Also, Windows 8 is PRE-BETA! It's obviously not going to look like that when it's released a year from now.

"Copy and Paste buttons that take up half the screen"
"All monitors are widescreen now and you don't have that much horizontal real estate to spare"
First of all, the ribbon is minimizable anyways so your entire argument is pointless. But even with that being said, if you actually look at it closely, the Windows 8 Explorer header with the ribbon is about exactly the same height as XP with those extra large buttons, and it's maybe 10-15 pixels thicker than Windows 7. BUT, they've also gone into detail about the popularity of widescreen monitors and therefore moved the "Details Pane" from the bottom of the window to the right, so you actually have room for 2 extra list items over Windows 7 (something you would know if you actually read the article).

"Some of us never need to use any of the toolbars in explorer. Right click or keystrokes. Reinforces the idea that MS is catering Win7 and Win8 for noobs"
If you actually read the article you would have known that the reason MS introduced the ribbon was to make Windows Explorer a more powerful file manager for POWER USERS to remove some of the need for 3rd party software. They also explain how right-click context menu's are hidden and not intuitive which is why they wanted to make those functions more obvious. And they also point out how the ribbon has a built in extension for keyboard shortcuts and that they used it to give every single one of the 200 built in Windows Explorer functions a keyboard shortcut.

"Everyone who's opinion matters (ie the people who know how to use a computer) think the ribbon interface is counter intuitive and decreases productivity regardless of how familiar you become with it. I certainly don't need functions which I haven't ever used in 10 years to have a huge icon in front of me."
Counter intuitive? That's news to thousands of writers and professional publishers who generally declare the ribbon in Office a godsend. And for those "people who know how to use a computer"? Well if you actually go read the article, and take a look at the comments section there, all 600 of them seem to love the ribbon! And most of them are Microsoft TechNet and MSDN subscribers. And I assure you that they know how to use a computer a hell of a lot better than you do. And those functions you haven't used in 10 years... That's what makes the ribbon so useful. Prior to the ribbon in Office, I would always just format things manually with spaces, tabs, page breaks, type page numbers in directly to the bottom of the page, you name it. The functions to do those things properly were way too hidden through menu trees, unlabeled buttons, and popups for me to bother learning them. It required a book to figure them out. When the ribbon came out, it put all of those functions right in my face, in obvious groupings. I naturally just started incorporating them into my workflow over time and next thing I knew, I was able to format complex Word documents properly and with ease on a regular basis. And thus is the story for the majority of users who use the ribbon over time. 

"I've been writing software long enough to know that they "settled" on Ribbon because they already had an API for it and someone in management was leaning on it as a preference."
Again, go read the actual article. It goes into deep detail of all the telemetry data they analyzed and why they made the design decision to use the ribbon.

"If Windows users wanted a "new look and feel" with little ability to accomplish tasks, they would head over to the dark side fruit bowl."
They just turned Windows Explorer into a power user file manager! What the hell are you talking about "little ability to accomplish tasks"? They just added a maximum 2-click access to over 200 file management functions! Each with their own keyboard shortcut! Finder in OS X literally doesn't include a fraction of the functionality of the new Windows Explorer. You're actually so dumb it blows my mind.

"Why exactly is Ribbon more suited to "expose hidden features", provide keyboard shortcuts, and offer customization, than the previous menubar UI"
Read the article... The ribbon gives a maximum of 2-click access to over 200 file management functions. Some of which required up to 5 clicks, plus searching and scrolling to get to previously. Also, with the ribbon, when you hold ALT, it overlays the hotkey button to every single function in the ribbon. The ribbon also gives you the ability to add any function to the "quick access toolbar" giving you 1-click access to your most commonly used functions.

"I haven't heard one good reason to upgrade to windows 8 (aka win 7 sp 2)"
"This is a service pack 2 indeed"
That's funny, I hear this one every single time Microsoft releases a new OS. In actuality, this seems to be the most comprehensive Windows upgrade I've seen since Vista and 95. The number of completely redesigned elements and new features is massive. They're building a completely new apllication framework and app store into Windows 8. Plus support for cloud storage, an entire secondary UI, a new USB stack, ISO mounting, the list goes on and on. You too are both too dumb for words.

"And why do they have to remove the old UI altogether? Why can't i choose ribbons or standard? Lazy software engineers saying "it can't be done" that's why."
Nope. Another thing they directly talk about in the article. I'll let MS explain: "In a related note, one of the most common requests we get in any redesign is to continue to provide the old user interface along with the new. Sometimes this is suggested as a "transitional" benefit, and other times as a "compatibility mode." We've learned over many product cycles that the work to provide this significantly impacts the evolution of the product. The most immediate challenge is that any new commands added to the ribbon then need to be added in the old UI, even if there is no logical place for them. And of course as the new UI evolves, backward compatibility proves doubly challenging. Each time we change we double the number of "old" experiences we carry forward. Our hope is that those who maintain software understand that these are tradeoffs we make in a thoughtful and deliberate manner, and are not meant to be forceful or painful in any way. We are fully aware of the responsibility that comes from changing an interface used by so many people."

Sorry for all the ranting. I'm just sick and tired of the amount of stupidity on this website. I think I need a new tech news site. I for one am absolutely pumped for this new Windows Explorer. Copy Path, Copy To, Move To, File Grouping, 1-click selection zipping, invert selection, 1-click hide files, 1-click show hidden files, a completely redisigned search function, contextual functions based on file type, 1-click share files with other users, Command Prompt to the current directory! This is going to be the best thing since sliced bread (for those of us not completely against any type of change that is). You guys have fun with XP though.

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win7fanboi

haha... boy you have a lot of time on your hand... to be honest i only read like 3 lines of your word vomit but would like to say... Buy a MAC if you like pretty things to look at and Fuck Off.

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allantang

+1

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NeuBreed

Like the rant. I think it's funny how some power users hate change and dog on users that want some things to be a little more simpler.

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adspie

Is there any improvement or update for DirectX? does Win8 has Directx 11.5 or 12? if there is no improvment on DX i will not buy it, ill stay win7ul64

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FahKingNut

This is a joke, right?

 

I started using Open Office 'cause I hated the ribbon so damn much!

 

Don't muck with the interface!!!  Simply improve the core of the product and reduce the damn price!!!

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Sparx10

Dear god.. WHYYYYYY. That looks like WinZip's gay ribbon interface. I switched to the legacy style because ribbon looks retarded.

 

This combined with that ugly Windows 8 interface (the home screen or whatever) are the reasons I'm not buying Windows 8. Anyone seen that video where the M$ guy opens Word? It opens Windows 7 behind that new 8 interface. Sounds slow, looks retarded, AND it will be overpriced.

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Dartht33bagger

I hate the ribbon in Office 2007.  To be 100% honest, I like the interface in Office 2003 the best.  Hopefully I can turn off the ribbon in Windows 8 if I HAVE to get it (I'll probably stick with Windows 7 though).

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majorsuave

Dear Micosoft. 

While I understand that you wannt your OS to be tablet friendly, please don't forget PC Gamers who will want backward compatibility with aging titles and solid mouse/KB support. 

Why not allowing to use 2 separate Mouse/KB combos for player 1 and 2? 

Please, dual screen and dual mouse/KB would allow solid coop or VS local play on a single machine. And windows would be the only vendor to offer that.

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TsunamiZ

what??  no tabs??

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tornato7

I will only like it if they make the ribbon customizable and allow you to make the buttons a little smaller. I don't want to have to navigate menus to get to a feature i use all the time, there needs to be a 'custom ribbon' button with everything I want. And I could fit 4 times as many buttons in there.

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szore

Once you get used to them, ribbons are superior. If you don't like it, don't get Windows 8.

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nHeroGo

 

My experience with this ribbon-malarkey is limited to Windows Live Mail; pretty on the surface, hard to get used to, and rather limited in search function (subject line only, cannot search message body).

Win7 is very good. I trust Win8 will also be very good. The ribbon-thingy will remain for as long as the management-people that have personal stake in its development will hang around.

I wonder what Steve Jobs would do? Microsoft and Apple often times copy each others good ideas. So the question for Microsoft is “if ribbons is such a good idea, how soon do they think Apple will implement it into OS X Beaver?”

 

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TommM

That's a deal breaker for me.  I really wasn't that interested in Win8 to begin with.  But I absolutely detest the ribbon UI.

Thanks, but no thanks.  I'll hang on to Win7 until they quit supporting it.

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Cregan89

Good to know. Is that X-ray of you?

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someuid

I've been using the ribbon interface for about 3 months now (my work place was slow to upgrade from Winxp/Office2003).

i can't stand it.  It has forced me to stop and relearn my work patterns.  I spend a lot of time hunting for options that used to be right there at my fingertips.

Printing has gone from a 1 step hit-the-print-icon to a 3 step File,,,print,,,print process.

I see the options where I can customize my toolbars, but for crying out loud, I was used to the standard layout they had.  Changing it hasn't made me faster - it has made me slower.

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bloodgain

"After considering a number of different approaches, they settled for the ribbon interface as they think it ticks all three boxes."

I've been writing software long enough to know that they "settled" on Ribbon because they already had an API for it and someone in management was leaning on it as a preference. Those "3 broad goals" are more about selling it as the right move than actual goals.

I neither love nor hate Ribbon, but they should just be honest about it. Ribbon is an attempt to make the interface more "user friendly" (read "dumbed down") while not completely rewriting the underlying behavior. It's a new coat of paint to make people say "ooh, shiny!" We can applaud a little, though, that there will be better keyboard shortcut and probably right-click menu support. That's what power users use most in Explorer, anyway.

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someuid

"I've been writing software long enough to know that they "settled" on Ribbon because they already had an API for it and someone in management was leaning on it as a preference. Those "3 broad goals" are more about selling it as the right move than actual goals."

+1

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TerribleToaster

 

I've always been torn about the ribbon interface. On one hand, a person more experienced with it over the traditional toolbar could work more productively than a person who held equal skill in using the old toolbar. On the other hand, most people have far more experience with the traditional toolbar and the idea of having to relearn how to access tools is not a pleasant one, I being a particularly fine example of this.

 

As long as there is an option in Win8 to use the classic toolbar I'll be happy. If there isn't then I will be slightly discontented and will settle for always using keyboard shortcuts.

 

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Zoandar

Hopefully, for those who end up faced with this ribbon BS, there will come a 3rd party utility to "undo" it, just like there being a 3rd party Win7 utility to revert the Start menu back to WinXP style. This issue of programmer "stupid default settings" is nothing new, though. They've been doing it for decades. They seem to be able to target the things we most like and do away with them, or make them more convoluted.

A good example, albeit not from M$, is when OpenOffice programmers locked out the long-standing option to NOT need to hold CTRL down to click on a document's hyperlink. "They" decided that is what the users wanted. So they took the time and effort to remove an already existing and working feature just to "make changes". I think we would all be better served if M$ would stop with the confusing Walmart notion of rearranging what we see every time we re-visit the OS (new version release) and focus on making the software faster, more stable, and much less bloated. If Windows users wanted a "new look and feel" with little ability to accomplish tasks, they would head over to the dark side fruit bowl.

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Belboz99

Okay, and why exactly is Ribbon more suited to "expose hidden features", provide keyboard shortcuts, and offer customization, than the previous menubar UI, which they note had customization, keyboard shortcuts, etc?

Trying to justify ribbon this way is like trying to justify shaving your head because your hair is longer than it used to be.

 

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win7fanboi

Take the UI guy in the back and cap 2 in his ass.... Ribbon Interface sucks... all monitors are widescreen now and you don't have that much horizontal real estate to spare. I haven't heard one good reason to upgrade to windows 8 (aka win 7 sp 2).

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jonnyohio

I have hated it since the first time I used it and still dont like it. I wish they would stop trying to shove it down our throats.

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Cooketh

Agreed. While I like that they are trying something new, we shouldn't be talking about Windows 8 for another 4 years.

 

This is a service pack 2 indeed.

And why do they have to remove the old UI altogether? Why can't i choose ribbons or standard? Lazy software engineers saying "it can't be done" that's why.

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