Microsoft improves file management in Windows 8

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The team behind Microsoft's next-gen operating system has issued a new update on the Building Windows 8 blog, this time detailing a few improvements to things like copying, moving, renaming and deleting files.  While that's hardly something to get excited about, the software giant says these four basic functions account for 50% of all Windows Explorer usage in Windows 7, and thus they want to make sure that it is a great experience.

Microsoft had three goals in mind: creating one unified experience for managing and monitoring copy operations, removing any distractions so users only see key information, and putting people in control of their copy operations.

The first change you'll notice is that Windows will now use a single dialog box for multiple file operations rather than opening a number of them. The updated file dialog allows you to cancel jobs individually or pause any of them with the click of a button in case you want a specific job to finish sooner. Users will also be able to click and open the source or destination folders when copying -- sort of like browsers' download managers have been doing for a while.


Clicking on the more details button will open a real-time graph that shows the current speed of your operation as well as the time and number of files remaining. Microsoft's Alex Simons, director of program management on Windows engineering, commented that estimating the time remaining to complete a copy is nearly impossible to do with any precision because there are many unpredictable and uncontrollable variables involved. For this reason they have focused on tweaking the Windows 8 Explorer interface to play up elements that can be detailed precisely.

Lastly, Microsoft is also revamping the way Windows handles "file name collisions" when copying a file to a location where a file with the same name already exists. The new dialog box shows thumbnails for each file with all relevant information besides them so it's easier to identify which ones you want to keep.

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