Microsoft has shown off a major revamp of Windows Explorer which will debut in the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.
Key interface improvements include the addition of the ribbon toolbar, which is now a mainstay in Office 2010 applications.
This interface was chosen after some experimentation as it allows the most important commands to be put in prominent, easy to access locations, according to Alex Simons, director of programme management on the Windows team.
"For this version of Windows Explorer we wanted to focus on making a really great file management experience, and make it easier for users to get to commands," he said on the Windows Blog.
"Every important file management command could be given a home in the ribbon, and customers would always know where to look for them."
The ribbon on Windows Explorer will contain three main tabs - Home, Share and View - as well as contextual buttons. Altogether the tabs will contain over 200 commands, but the traditional file menu will also be present.
The Home tab allows access to file management tasks, and there are shortcuts to commonly used commands such as Copy, Paste, Delete, Rename, Cut and Properties.
The Share tab will allow business users to quickly zip files and email them to colleagues or burn them to optical media. Files can also be shared within a home group or network domain.
Meanwhile, the View tab can be used to customise Windows Explorer, and the Search tab to adjust the scope of any search. Searches can be filtered by date range, file type, file size, author or name.
Simons explained that all 200 commands in the ribbon now have keyboard shortcuts, as frequently requested by customers. Microsoft has also brought back the 'Up' button that was present in Windows XP but removed in Vista.
"[We wanted to] maintain the power and richness of Explorer and bring back the most relevant and requested features from the Windows XP era when the current architecture and security model of Windows permits," he said.
A demonstration of the upcoming features is available below:
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