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Microsoft shows off Windows 8 ribbon interface

It's a space saver, apparently
Tue Aug 30 2011, 13:31

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Explorer will use its ribbon interface in its upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system isn't scheduled for release until next year but that hasn't stopped the firm from trying to generate buzz. The company has been keen to show off the tiled interface but also turned its attention to the mundane Windows Explorer, which will now incorporate Microsoft's Marmite ribbon interface.

It seems Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky wasn't entirely sure about the firm's decision himself, saying, "We knew that using a ribbon for Explorer would likely be met with scepticism by a set of power-users (like me)." But he went on to explain that the interface would provide easier access to more functions.

Sinofsky said that the ribbon interface in Windows 8 will provide simpler access to third-party add-ons to Windows Explorer. Initially people familiar with the ribbon interface from Microsoft's Office suite will think that it is a flagrant waste of screen space, but Sinofsky says that more files can be viewed in a Windows Explorer window in Windows 8 than in Windows 7.

Microsoft's decision to include the ribbon interface in Windows Explorer is likely to raise the ire of some users despite Sinofsky's insistance that it better serves users. To please advanced users, Microsoft has incorporated more keyboard shortcuts for commands such as move to, rename and new folder.

Ever since Microsoft introduced the ribbon interface with its Office 2007 productivity suite, it was only a matter of time before it added that to its Windows operating system. The big surprise was that Windows 7 didn't have it, but it looks like by 2013 the user interface of Microsoft's two biggest products will finally be unified. µ


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