Microsoft outlines changes to Explorer in Windows 8 beta

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Microsoft has published a new blog post regarding changes that have been made to Windows 8 leading up to the public beta slated for release next month. Author Ilana Smith notes that nearly 2,200 reader comments were considered in addition to those from other feedback channels when incorporating OS changes.

A new option to the detailed conflict resolution dialog when copying duplicate files makes it easier to filter out files that match on name, size and time. This functionality adds no additional overhead to the operation and can be performed locally or across networks.

Explorer is now able to read and interpret EXIF orientation data for JPEG images. This means that if your digital camera sets this value correctly, you will no longer have to rotate images once uploaded to your computer. As someone that takes a lot of photos, I’m certainly looking forward to this feature.

Another new feature outlines how a large copy job is transferred when a faster connection is introduced. If both sides of the copy operation are using Windows 8, the operating systems will recognize and utilize the faster connection (say, plugging in an Ethernet cable versus wireless transfer) on the fly. It will also be possible for a system to automatically pause a copy operation when entering sleep or hibernation modes. Upon awake, users will be able to resume the copy job by depressing the pause button on the dialog.

Microsoft has also made a few changes to the ribbon system in Explorer. Based on lots of feedback from the Developer Preview where the ribbon was maximized by default, the team has now minimized the ribbon by default. Also new for the beta release is the addition of hotkey information to the tooltips of relevant buttons. The goal here is to help users discover hotkey shortcuts that will ultimately save them time. Last but not least, Microsoft has added Explorer settings to the attributes that are roamed to your other Windows 8 PCs in the “Sync your settings” UI.

Look for all of these changes and more in the upcoming Windows 8 public beta due out sometime in February.

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