Windows 8 Evolved Windows Explorer with New Functionality

By Marius Oiaga on April 28th, 2011 14:54 GMT

Windows 8 leaks have already revealed that Microsoft is cooking an overhaul of the good old Windows Explorer.

Although still not confirmed officially by the software giant, Windows vNext will feature a redesigned Windows Explorer, with the company slapping the Ribbon / Fluent UI on top of the component.

In addition, recent findings from Windows 8 Milestone 2 (M2) / pre-M3 Build 6.2.7955.0 reveal that Windows Explorer will also evolve with new functionality.

Users uncovered a new feature which allows them to treat items in the Windows Explorer address bar more like individual folders and less like pieces of a folder destination. (via Tzvi Friedman)

The Windows Explorer address bar has suffered a major revamping after Windows XP, providing a sum of visual elements instead of the plain text used to point to a specific folder.

It appears that Windows 8 users will be able to drag and drop files and folders to specific destination points that make up the full address of a folder.

Personally I welcome the growth of Windows Explorer in terms of new functionality and features.

But while this particular example of new Windows 8 functionality might not be all that impressive, there are more goodies that I’d love to see Microsoft introduce in the next version of Windows.

Windows 7 already lets users pin Windows Explorer to the Taskbar. Furthermore, additional options are available such as making a selection of pinned folders on top of the items that are frequently navigated to.

Pinning Windows Explorer to the Taskbar has helped speed up my workflow immensely, and I simply could not go back to not using this feature.

Still, there are some shortcomings that the software giant has to address in Windows 8. The most important in my opinion is that the pinned and frequent folders do not offer customers any additional functionality beyond acting as a shortcut.

On more than one occasion I felt the need to have commands such as “Paste to this folder” or “Copy contents from this folder.”

The folders featured under Favorites in the left hand side (the navigation tree) of Windows Explorer reveal a plethora of extra options when users right click them. They should also be available for the folders featured under Windows Explorer when it’s pinned on the Taskbar.

Let’s say I want to copy a picture from my desktop to the Pictures folder which is one of the favorites in Windows Explorer pinned on the Taskbar. I should be able to right-click it and select Paste, instead of actually having to navigate to the Pictures folder.

And just to reiterate one of the most requested features for this component of the operating system, I’d also like to underline that Windows 8 is the perfect moment for Microsoft to finally introduce Tabs in Windows Explorer.

How would you like Windows Explorer to evolve in Windows 8?
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