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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

August 24, 2011 at 11:39 AM

Improving copying, moving and renaming files in Windows 8

In the official Building Windows 8 blog, Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live, introduces a post on planned improvements in Windows 8 to copying, moving, renaming and deleting files — “one of the most used features, and one we have not improved substantially in a long time,” he says.

Microsoft Windows 8.jpg

Windows 8 is Microsoft’s major redesign of its flagship operating system — the most significant overhaul since Windows 95. It will be designed to run on tablets, as well as laptops and desktops, with a home screen featuring tiles optimized for touchscreens, rather than traditional icons.

As it stands now, within Windows Explorer, copying, moving, renaming, and deleting are the most heavily used features, said Alex Simons, a director of program management on the Windows engineering team, who wrote most of the blog post. And although 50 percent of these jobs take less than 10 seconds to complete, many people are also doing much larger jobs — 20 percent of which take more than 2 minutes to complete, he says.

“There are some pretty cluttered and confusing parts of the Windows 7 copy experience,” Simons says. “For Windows 8, we want to make sure that using these core file management commands, which we collectively refer to as ‘copy jobs,’ is a great experience.”

Toward that end, Windows 8 developers are creating one place to manage and monitor all copy jobs, and give people more control of copy operations.

Among the features of Windows 8 that Simons touts:

  • Users can review and control all the Explorer copy jobs currently executing in one combined user interface, rather than having to navigate between several dialog boxes.
  • There will be the ability to pause, resume, and stop each copy operation currently underway, giving control over which copy job to complete first.
  • Real-time throughput graphs will show each copy job’s speed of data transfer, the transfer rate trend, and how much data in left to transfer. The graphs are intended to provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular job.
  • A more clear, concise and efficient design, intended to simplify and clean up the experience for resolving file name collisions. With Windows 8, all the files from the source are on the left. All the files in the target location with file name collisions are on the right. And the screen layout shows all the critical information for all the collisions, front and center in one dialog.

There’s a short video demo of the features in Simons’ post.

And here’s a video demonstrating the Windows 8 user experience, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

(Photo and video of Windows 8 from MIcrosoft)

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