According to reports on Microsoft related newsgroups, Windows Explorer in Windows 8, will utilize the Ribbons interface currently used in Microsoft Office 2007 and beyond. The decision has been met with hostility from many power users and tech savvy individuals, but Microsoft has indicated that after evaluation and analysis, they decided that the ribbon interface was the best way to go.
According to a post on the General Microsoft Newsgroup “We evaluated several different UI [user interface] command affordances including expanded versions of the Vista/Windows 7 command bar, Windows 95/Windows XP style toolbars and menus, several entirely new UI approaches, and the Office style ribbon,” Microsoft’s Alex Simons explained. “Of these, the ribbon approach offered benefits in line with our goals.”
The ribbon display was used with Microsoft Office 2007 to replace the traditionally-used drop-down menus. The idea is that it allows certain functions that may otherwise be hidden to be easily accessible to the user.
Critics complain that the ribbon interface takes up too much real estate, especially when using a notebook or other mobile computing devices. However, Simons cited data that Microsoft obtained from millions of users that indicated that a vast majority use Windows 7 on a widescreen display.
There will be four tabs in Windows Explorer—Home, Share, View and Manage. The new format will also bring back the ‘up’ button that allows the user to jump a level higher in their folders. The new design is said to allow users easier access to the most-used commands such as copy, cut and paste, which are said to account for more than a third of the functions in Explorer. Microsoft indicated that, according to its data, users used the same 10 functions in Explorer over 80 percent of the time.