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Microsoft 'Ribbonizes' Windows 8 File Manager

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the statistically-driven-interface dept.

Windows 951

CWmike writes "Microsoft said today it will 'ribbonize' the file manager in next year's Windows 8, adding Explorer to the short list of integrated applications that already sport the interface in Windows 7. Microsoft's Alex Simons, director of program management, released screenshots of the new ribbon interface planned for Explorer (scroll way down). 'We evaluated several different UI command affordances including expanded versions of the Vista/Windows 7 command bar, Windows 95/Windows XP style toolbars and menus, several entirely new UI approaches, and the Office style ribbon,' explained Simons. 'Of these, the ribbon approach offered benefits in line with our goals.' Plans by Microsoft and others to ribbonize applications have often met resistance. 'We knew that using a ribbon for Explorer would likely be met with skepticism by a set of power users, but there are clear benefits,' Simons said."

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951 comments

Paging Darth Vader (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246608)

"Nooooooooooooo!"

Re:Paging Darth Vader (4, Insightful)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246746)

Hmm...well, now I have a reason to never update to Win 8....geez, I don't know ANYONE that likes the fscking ribbon interface.

I'm guessing they won't have a 'classic' look and feel option?

Re:Paging Darth Vader (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246820)

I know one. But he work for MS (and absolutely everything from MS is awesome to him), so I don't know if that counts.

SUCKAGE! (1, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246856)

IT BURNS!

Can I please have new retinas?

Re:Paging Darth Vader (2)

avandesande (143899) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247040)

From Animal House:

"Thank you sir may I have another?"

Re:Paging Darth Vader (4, Interesting)

daver00 (1336845) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246922)

I offer you a challenge then: Force yourself to use the ribbon interface until you become comfortable with it, then try and go back. After doing this tell me whether you still think the ribbon is a bad idea. Personally I believe almost everyone who bitches about the ribbon is actually complaining about change in general - so eliminate that from the equation.

The ribbon is an improvement in user interface design, even if you don't personally like it.

Re:Paging Darth Vader (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246978)

I hate the ribbon. It's been 4 years... How long is enough time to be comfortable with it?

Re:Paging Darth Vader (3, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247008)

I used office 2007 since beta.

I wish I could have those years back.

but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246620)

can it play crysis?

That MS for You (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246626)

We know our users don't like The Ribbon, so we are going to force it down their throats!

Re:That MS for You (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246998)

If only they used a Linux desktop, where they could have XMMS, seven performance monitors, and five terminals open for no reason in front of an anime wallpaper.

Great more crap I don't want. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246628)

Great more crap I don't want. I hate the minimal UI look. At least give us a choice between old and new.

Bleh (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246632)

Looks like a two year old designed it. Talk about cluttered. Explorer has a ribbon, the right mouse button.

Whatever (1)

archen (447353) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246648)

Another reason to learn keyboard shortcuts.

Awful (4, Insightful)

Moof123 (1292134) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246650)

The ribbon is just awful. Generally it takes me 1-2 weeks to get back to 95+% productivity with a new machine. I am now over 18 months into Office 2007 at work, and still only at 75-80%. Important things were buried or burned to make the ribbon approach fit, so I am constantly having to dig for simple crap like "crop". Ugh, I was hoping it all would go the way of Clippy...

Re:Awful (4, Informative)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246778)

In this particular case, I suggest you read the blog post first before jumping to conclusion. It has a fairly detailed analysis of most used commands in Explorer, and how they were specifically placed all on the default Ribbon tab so as to be at a single-click distance.

Re:Awful (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246806)

FSM forbid you ever want to do anything not in the most used commands list, if you did have fun hunting through the random categories.

Re:Awful (3, Informative)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246880)

If there's something you use frequently that isn't on the home tab, you can just add it to the "Quick Access" bar... a custom list of any of the ribbon commands you want to put there. It's then one click away at all times, period.

Or you can just lear the key press for it, and use that.

Really, there's a ton of whining about the Ribbon that I see from people that strikes me as nothing more or less than someone whining about how ignorant they are about the Ribbon or how to use it.

Most people I've known who "hate" it stop hating it after I sit down with them for five minutes and just show them how to use it and make it work like they want it to. It's really not that tough, and the only reason they didn't figure it out themselves is that they were so dead-set on just HATING it because it wasn't exactly like they were used to.

Re:Awful (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246926)

Context menu is still there. FWIW, I don't recall when I've last used the toolbar or the menu in Explorer - everything that I actually need seems to be in the context menu - and I expect it to be no different in this version. On the bright side, the ribbon can be collapsed so that only the tab titles show, which is likely how I'll end up configuring it.

Re:Awful (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246944)

There's a right way and a wrong way of doing it. Probably the best interface I've seen in some time is in Vuescan. Options and settings which have no influence in the current mode disappear and only ones that actually function are available. Granted it is a bit confusing at first, but because they're located next to the area I'm working with, I can readily find them without having to go hunting for them.

The problem with the Ribbon is that anybody that last used Office before they added the ribbon more or less has to completely relearn how to use the products. Which is not good in cases like this where the original organization was functioning.

Ultimately, this sounds more like the start of a pissing match between Apple and MS over who can force their customers to put up with the stupidest stuff.

Re:Awful (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247046)

The problem with the Ribbon is that anybody that last used Office before they added the ribbon more or less has to completely relearn how to use the products.

I agree that it is a major change, and starting it with a "productivity" application like that was quite heavy-handed. Nonetheless, this is 5 years since Office 2007...

And we can't stick to the old interfaces solely on the basis that everyone is used to them - if that is strictly followed, there wouldn't be any evolution in UI at all. In practice, different people try different new things, and only some of them stick around as good ideas - but if you don't try at all, then some company will make theirs stick, and out-compete you.

Ultimately, this sounds more like the start of a pissing match between Apple and MS over who can force their customers to put up with the stupidest stuff.

I'm not a big fan of Apple, and I do know a number of flaws in their UX design, but I think it's hard to deny that it was largely their novel approach to touch UI that made iPhone and then iPad the bestseller that it is - there wasn't anything particularly innovative about either product, but that point alone was underestimated for too long, and they capitalized on that with great success, and keep going (while e.g. Android is still playing catch-up in many areas).

Re:Awful (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246798)

The ribbon is just awful.

The thing is, it's not a bad toolbar replacement, but it is an absolutely dreadful menu replacement. It is so much harder to find less-frequently-used functions now, and half the time when you find them, they are in a menu behind a little button!

The craziest thing is that Mac Office still has the ribbon - but RETAINS THE MENU! Why can't they do this on their flagship platform?

Re:Awful (3, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246974)

I could be wrong, but doesn't that have something to do with Apple's UI requirements? One thing that I always liked about OSX was that there was some consistency from program to program as to where certain things would be found. In Windows, you can generally find the preferences button in 3 different places depending upon where the UI designer felt like putting it.

Re:Awful (2)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247062)

There are suggestions for UI design in OSX, but even Apple themselves routinely violate them. There is no more consistency in OSX than there is in Windows.

Re:Awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246800)

Uh.. right click and "crop" is there.. not sure what you're searching for.

Re:Awful (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246908)

Pulling percentages out of thin air in order to sound scientific isn't a convincing argument on either side.

their goals != my goals (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247048)

"the ribbon approach offered benefits in line with our goals"

Apparently one of their goals is to keep me using Windows XP until the hardware it is running on can no longer be repaired.

The concept of the Pull-Down Menu was not broke.* It did not need to be "fixed".

*Actually Microsoft did break the Pull-Down Menu, by automatically removing things from it if you didn't use them often enough. In doing so they reduced the likelihood that you would remember seeing where a little-used feature was on the menu ("I think that was under Edit..."), or discover a "new" feature by seeing it listed there ("Hey, there's an option on the View menu to display full-screen!").

Re:Awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37247066)

You must be a compete retard.

Upcoming news.... (5, Insightful)

Niomosy (1503) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246658)

And alternative file manager downloads soar on Windows 8 launch day.

Windows professionals and consultants ready themselves for increased profits in tutoring a new array of people having difficulty simply working with their own files.

Blech (1)

cmdr_klarg (629569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246664)

If I can disable the damned ribbon and use what I want, fine. I get the feeling that it won't happen.

No advantages and a few disadvantages to Win8, and I haven't even looked at it closely. I'll stay with 7 for the time being.

Re:Blech (2)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246924)

I think you're jumping to conclusions based on little or no evidence.

The article goes in to rather serious detail about the advantages and the whys and hows of the Ribbon in Explorer.

Really, I only see improvements. Where do you see anything that isn't an improvement? More functional than Win7's Explorer, more vertical screen space than Win7's Explorer, more customizability than Win7's Explorer, and more touch-friendly than Win7's Explorer.

How do you get "no advantages and a few disadvantages"? I'd love for you to list out these alleged disadvantages, and explain why you think there are no advantages. It might help you to actually read the full article first.

Re:Blech (1)

Deathlizard (115856) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246954)

it looks like you can chuck the ribbon interface by using the Quick Access Toolbar. It's the second to the last pic on the msdn page. Although frankly I never used the top of the explorer window other than for going up one directory. (but clicking on the directory name in the vista/7 address bar is somewhat of a compromise fix)

speaking of which, the "Up one directory" arrow is back.

Re:Blech (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247064)

If I can disable the damned ribbon and use what I want, fine. I get the feeling that it won't happen.

You can't disable it, but you can minimize it (so that only the tab headers show). In that mode, you'll save significant vertical space over Win7 explorer, which is what a power user likely cares most about.

The context menu is still there, and so are the keyboard shortcuts. On the bright side, there are way more keyboard shortcuts now, so it's easier to ignore any mouse-driven UI altogether.

Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm of s (5, Insightful)

Nathan Campos (2369774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246666)

Better information about Microsoft's researches: http://seldo.tumblr.com/post/9549775746/this-is-genuinely-microsofts-idea-of-a [tumblr.com] lol

Re:Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm o (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246788)

Now that was a well-reasoned response. Two thumbs up!

Re:Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm o (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246894)

This is somewhat flawed. It's not simply how often the operation is used, but how often is used multiplied by the amount of work that it will do for you. Also if the ribbon is rarely used, it's exactly the place to put rarely used commands that might put in handy.

But otherwise, yes, this demonstrates why the menu/toolbar approach is better. The most useful commands go through the shortcuts, the second most useful commands go through the context menu, things that might come in handy go into the toolbar, and everything else go to the menu. The ribbon approach breaks this.

Re:Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm o (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246958)

It's kind of hard to take him seriously when he claims the menu bar has been "made bigger and more prominent", right underneath a screenshot showing that Windows 8 Explorer doesn't have any menu bar at all!

Re:Microsoft UI has officially entered the realm o (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246992)

I disagree with that post - yes, they have put features that are not commonly used and into an interface that wasn't commonly used - but to assume that this means it is a stupid move is wrong. Those functions were not used because they didn't exist. That interface wasn't used because it was hard to use. The new interface and new functions might actually be really useful to the user. I'm not saying they are, but that argument is flawed.

Ribbons are for the birds. (1)

Cprossu (736997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246670)

I hate ribbons, they create about three times more headaches than they solve.
I don't care if Grandma will be able to use autocad easier, every time a new ribbon shows up it makes my life a living cluttered hell.

RIM style management? (2, Interesting)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246678)

Is Microsoft taking a page from the RIM management playbook? It seems to me like they're deliberately trying to make themselves irrelevant by not giving people what they clearly want. I guess hubris strikes every large company eventually. They're systematically flushing themselves down the toilet with every release of code. It will be interesting to see the post-Windows world in a few years.

One word: WHY? (3, Insightful)

jb68321 (1123905) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246686)

In the age of widescreen displays, why in the world do they want to waste more of my precious vertical viewing plane with pictures?

My company's switch to Office 2007 nearly a year ago is still bringing groans from my coworkers (who by the way are engineers in their 20-30s for the most part). We love new things, and we love improvements; we abhor inefficiency and "stupid pretty things". If we wanted eye candy, we'd get a Mac.

I guess I should read more about their "clear benefits", because we are obviously missing them!

Re:One word: WHY? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246756)

In the age of widescreen displays, why in the world do they want to waste more of my precious vertical viewing plane with pictures?

Because if they put it on the sides, everyone would be complaining about wanting the ability to move it to the bottom of the screen.
See also "Unity launcher".

Re:One word: WHY? (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246844)

Unity is a piece of crap for so many different reasons !! But that one is definitely one. But it is not the same.

See the difference:
Unity, 30 icons, all necessary. You want to see them, hence you need it horizontal.
Explorer: 30 icons, all useless. You don't want to see them, hence you want them to consume less real estate.

Re:One word: WHY? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246758)

I was thinking exactly the same thing, this seems like a major step backward from 7 where you gained vertical realestate versus the XP Explorer system.

Re:One word: WHY? (1)

ClubStew (113954) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246898)

Did you read the original post? There's actually more room for content now when compared to Explorer that's been around in Vista and Win7.

Re:One word: WHY? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246834)

In the age of widescreen displays, why in the world do they want to waste more of my precious vertical viewing plane with pictures?

It sounds counter-intuitive, but redesigned Explorer with Ribbon fits as many files as Explorer in Win7, and in some cases even more [msdn.com] , because some other UI elements were either ditched altogether, or (like the file info pane below) moved so that they consume horizontal space rather than vertical.

I guess I should read more about their "clear benefits", because we are obviously missing them!

You probably should read the blog post linked from TFS, and see what points you disagree with. It gives a fairly detailed rationale for UI design.

Re:One word: WHY? (0)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246888)

The only rational I'm sure is that it looks new and different, and thus when people walk into Best Fuck or whatever evil shit store they're about to be swindled by, they can go "Wow! This is a new version, looking at all those cool picture things!"

Re:One word: WHY? (1)

Skywolfblue (1944674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247030)

That's due to cutting out stuff on the page, not the toolbar using less real estate. It's a good thing they're cutting the page down yes, but it doesn't excuse the horrid ribbon.

Re:One word: WHY? (1)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246838)

We love new things, and we love improvements; we abhor inefficiency and "stupid pretty things". If we wanted eye candy, we'd get a Mac.
I guess I should read more about their "clear benefits", because we are obviously missing them!

Almost byte-for-byte the same thing I said when I was dragged kicking and screaming from Win2000 to WinXP and it's Fisher-Price UI design.

Re:One word: WHY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37247018)

Many of us still prefer the windows 2000 style but you know what, in XP and 7 there is an option to make the whole UI look almost exactly like in 2000 so it was never a big issue. When MS put the ribbon in a software they usually remove the menus.

Also, I never like toolbars and the ribbon is just that, nothing more.

Re:One word: WHY? (1)

ghmh (73679) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246876)

I don't get it either - the move to 16:9 ((from 16:10 (from 4:3)), and given said move the lack of design to accommodate it in a sensible way.

Firefox is really starting to annoy me for various reasons, but I still use it because it's the only browser that has a really good horizontal tabs option

To be fair, the ribbon probably improves a low end users general experience, but for those of us at the other end of the spectrum, changes of late mainly seem to be for the worse.

Awful. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246698)

I personally can't stand the ribbons. So busy and hard to find anything.

Here's a great example: ZIP is under the "share" tab. Please explain that one to me.

Re:Awful. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246768)

easy because you zip up a file to share it stupid.

I don't get the complaining about the ribbons, they are just big pictured menu buttons. it is just as quick as the regular menu and just as obtuse as office 2003 menu's where. In reality very little changed they just added a few pictures to the menu bar.

Good Idea (4, Interesting)

mkkohls (2386704) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246706)

I know a lot of people hate it, I did the first time I used it, but I now think the ribbon is actually a better interface. Once you know where things are it does make you work faster. Especially when you are using items that are in the same tab of the ribbon, or same menu of the old style. While there may not be as many benefits to the ribbon in explorer as there were in Office, I'm all for them putting it everywhere they can.

Re:Good Idea (0)

kurt555gs (309278) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246734)

The post above was brought to you by Microsoft, which is totally responsible for it's content.

Re:Good Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246810)

i dunno. i like the ribbon too, and i've been using office since the early 90s. don't get me wrong -- i don't love it or anything, but it's fine for what it is.

Re:Good Idea (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246872)

The post above was brought to you by a bitter, stubborn neckbeard who works on computer systems for sewage treatment plants. Seriously. Look at his bio. He even abbreviates Unix as 'nix for no reason and refers to PCs as "boxes."

Re:Good Idea (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246754)

The number of options available in a file manager are considerably less than those available in an average word processor. I see little enough to be gained here.

But hey, as long as they bring a proper fucking up level button, it will be a huge improvement over the abortion that Windows Explorer has become.

Re:Good Idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246772)

I know a lot of people hate it, I did the first time I used it, but I now think the ribbon is actually a better interface. Once you know where things are it does make you work faster. Especially when you are using items that are in the same tab of the ribbon, or same menu of the old style. While there may not be as many benefits to the ribbon in explorer as there were in Office, I'm all for them putting it everywhere they can.

Doesn't that go with everything? As soon you get used to it, then you will work faster. Ribbons aren't a solution. As it was before ribbons, I was already doing quite fine. Ribbons have not done my work any faster and I doubt it ever will to most users.

Re:Good Idea (1)

mkkohls (2386704) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246846)

Doesn't that go with everything? As soon you get used to it, then you will work faster. Ribbons aren't a solution. As it was before ribbons, I was already doing quite fine. Ribbons have not done my work any faster and I doubt it ever will to most users.

Not really. Getting used to it is the portion that will always be slower because you don't know where buttons are. As for me I tend to use the same tab a lot especially in word. The current tab stays up which allows faster access to the functions versus a menu which will close each time you click on an action thus making you open it again. Hence why it's slower before you get used to it.

Re:Good Idea (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246816)

Once you know where things are keyboards bindings are the fastest.

Re:Good Idea (0)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246818)

It's absolutely a better interface, but because it's from Microsoft, you're going to see a lot of anecdotes and trolling about how horrible it is, many of them from users on desktops that look like this [mozillaquest.com] . Tech nerds tend to not handle change well.

My favorite part about this new ribbon is that Copy and Paste are prominently placed in the upper left. Copy-and-paste is something non-technical users have trouble with for some reason, and telling them to right-click is a recipe for confusion, so I'm happy to see the commands so visible there.

Re:Good Idea (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247068)

There is already a computer and operating system out there for people who have no clue what they're doing. If you just want to play Farmville and exchange text messages with your BFF, get a Mac. Those of us who have to use computers professionally don't need to have big pretty pictures to figure out how to get work done. In fact, the ribbon obfuscates so many useful features, making Microsoft products a challenge to use. What real purpose is served by completely and fundamentally changing the user interface of a product that was already very well entrenched in so many offices? It's not like Microsoft has any real competition for the desktop office market.

At best, once I relearn the user interface, I will be just as productive as I was before. Certainly no more than I am now. There are no new features, at least not any that are significant. Fundamentally, the software does exactly what it did before but with a new interface. I could understand the change if it went with a significant improvement or advancement in functionality. But that's just not the case. It is change for the sake of change.

But what gets me is that this ribbon interface is universally criticized by "the masses" yet Microsoft continues to shove it down our throats in the entire product line. I just can't fathom what they're thinking.

But what if you don't know what to look for? (3, Insightful)

hellfire (86129) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246870)

Word is famous for being able to do 1000 things to a document, but the interface makes it faster to only do 3-4 of those tasks, and make it frustratingly agonizing to find some little known feature, which pisses me off, ruins my experience, and blows all the efficiency I just gained on complaining and hunting for what I needed.

A Ribbon would be great if word only did about 50 things, but then that's the problem, word is bloated and crazy. They've put the right interface onto the wrong product.

Then again, a Ribbon on Explorer might not be bad, because it really only does 50 things.

Re:Good Idea (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247024)

I initially hated the ribbon as well, angered that they'd removed some of the functions I'd used or misplaced them... until a Microsoft developer blogged that everything is still there, it's just ribbonized. I gave it a chance and after around 3 months, I prefer the ribbon.

I agree with another poster though, that the world has upgraded to wide screen displays and software developers need to innovate and find a way for us to use the left and right areas of our screen, rather than the up and down. (I've tilted one of my 24" LG displays vertically until then)

Re:Good Idea (1)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247050)

> Once you know where things are it does make you work faster.

Have you actually timed how long it takes to move your mouse to the top of the application window to click on something versus the time required to move your mouse to a menu at the top, click and move it down to an item on the menu and let go? Unless you're the most painfully slow human being on earth, it can't be more than half a second and it's just as disruptive since you still have to move the mouse and look at a different location, locate what you want and click.

Assuming you do this 240 times a day (which is most likely not the case), you've saved a whole 2 minutes. How much work are you actually going to do in 2 minutes?

And that's ignoring the fact that for some things, like inserting a column in Excel, you have to go to the tab, click on an item and get a menu that you have to choose an option from.. For those things, you actually have more steps than in previous versions and that's going to take a correspondingly longer time, sucking away those precious half-seconds that you're so proud of saving.

Might be could (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246740)

This will, of course, cause massive outcry, but I suspect it will end up being an improvement. Although since there are very few things you really need the menu for in a GUI file manager, I'm not sure I see the point. I honestly don't remember the last time I used the Explorer file manager menu, it was probably just to see hidden files. Everything else is done with the mouse and left/right clicks.

Actually looking at the screen shot, the main problem might end up being wasted screen space for the ribbon. 7 managed to stay out of the way pretty well, and I honestly think an absolute minimalist approach is best for file managers (unless you let me code scripts for file management...). Like I say, besides the file tree little to nothing else is needed in a file manager with two button mice and keyboard shortcuts.

Bad Design (2, Insightful)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246742)

No matter how you look at it, Ribbons are inefficient, badly designed UI elements.

Microsoft continues to floor me with how valiantly they push that envelope toward a cliff.

Re:Bad Design (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246890)

Really? What are your metrics? Because the link (which I'm guessing you didn't read) provides a convincing argument based on actual user data why the ribbon is a better UI. Let me guess, your argument boils down to "I'm used to doing things a certain way and can't accommodate change in my life."

Re:Bad Design (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246896)

What I really hate is how some open source projects are seeing this as a direction they need to go too. The goal shouldn't be to just follow every stupid design decision Microsoft makes...

Re:Bad Design (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247026)

Ribbons are more efficient than navigating complex drop down file menus.

If this can't be disabled... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246750)

...yet another Windows I will be skipping.
That looks TERRIBLE. Anything with Ribbon looks awful.
Give me back my god damn TOOLBARS. They have more functionality than crappy Ribbon ever will.
I'm not blind, I don't have fingers that are as fat as thighs (never mind the fact that I don't even HAVE a tablet, keep your tablet-crap to tablets), I don't need my damn hand held through every process just to cut a damn section of text.

Seriously, Microsoft hasn't made a good OS since WinXP.
At least in XP you had OPTIONS.
Everything after was forced on you, and either ON or OFF, no MIDDLE.
Not only that, they have been redesigning the OS for BABIES.
Their OS simply by design has become an insult to even think about.

How about you discard the retards and focus on your business users for once.

Thank god games have been getting worse as well, no need to upgrade OS for games that are exclusive to DirectX 55.5 or whatever one we are being forced to upgrade for.

I think I can say this and be confident that I have every right to say it: Fuck you Microsoft, just, fuck you.

Horrible (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246776)

Ribbons are ok if you want to have large menus with few sub elements which need to be large and look important.

For Office, they do what they're meant to do. For paint, they're horrible.

For this they're beyond description. When i use explorer I want to see all the elements that I can, and I right click to do what I want. Putting a huge bar at the top with colourful icons will only serve for more 'accidents' and less people knowing about the right menu. Please. No.

Re:Horrible (2)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246836)

The irony is that they put a graph:

Which says that 55% of commands are right click, 30-something are from hotkeys and a bit more 10% use the Command Bar.

Solution: SHOVE EVERYTHING INTO THE COMMAND BAR.

Re:Horrible (1)

WankersRevenge (452399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247028)

Granted I haven't used Windows in the past three years, but I always hated the mish mash of user interfaces. Never mind all the hidden secrets (press alt to see the menu, disable personalized menus to see the actual options, wave a dead chicken over the keyboard to get to the command prompt). I had often wished they would just pick one and be consistent across the board.

Re:Horrible (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247036)

Win8 Explorer shows MORE files in the list than Win7 Explorer. There is MORE vertical space available for the file display. So by your own standards, Win8's Explorer is better than Win7's.

And you can still right-click whatever you want. So you've lost nothing.

In addition, the UI is much more customizable than Win7's Explorer. You can add commonly used (but burried) commands to the quick-access bar for one-click access, as well as minimize the ribbon so it works more like a menu and stays out of your way (no "accidents") if you won't want it or need it.

So what exactly are you complaining about again?

telemtry data (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246808)

Microsoft is using uploads of your screen sizes in the section "Designing for a Wider Screen" ("we dug up some more telemetry data for Windows 7"), which the EULA allows them.

Are there any reliable controls on what else they can upload?

Fuck this shit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246822)

Why the fuck are they removing even more fucking vertical space!?!?
Haven't i been screwed enough by the widescreens!?

Clearly im not the targeted audience of tomorrows computing :(

Re:Fuck this shit! (1)

SpryGuy (206254) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247070)

You need to RTFA.

They didn't remove more vertical space. They added more vertical space. You can see MORE files in the file list in Windows 8 Explorer than in Windows 7 Explorer.

In fact, they designed this UI with wide-screen in mind, to more effectively use the width of the screen, and to provide more vertical space for the actual file list.

So, your whiny complaining post is completely without merit.

However (2)

Allicorn (175921) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246824)

The Ribbon is an abomination.

However, interesting little suggestion in TFA is that there is a "quick access toolbar" which basically looks... like an Explorer toolbar. You can customize anything onto it you like. And you can minimize the Ribbon, folding down into something that looks... like a menu.

So, it /may/ be survivable.

Re:However (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247044)

I have a hard time understanding the outrage. Do people here really have that hard of a time learning how to use it? Has Slashdot's core audience shifted away from geeks and nerds?

the clear benefit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246852)

The outraged power-users may just die from general anger!

Figure 10 - Is this a joke? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246858)

Ok, look at the image where they annotate various buttons with the frequency of use (10th image down). I thought this was a joke. If MS has such detailed usage statistics, why wouldn't they order or size the buttons according to frequency of use. Why is 'New Folder' (1%) the same size as 'Paste' (19%) and twice the size of 'Cut' (7%).

The only logical conclusion I can come to, is that this reorganization was not a result of usage statistics. Instead, the developers made whatever (bad) decisions they needed to to make the thing work and then marketing said "How can we sell this?".

Microsoft - bastardizing statistics since 1975

Re:Figure 10 - Is this a joke? (1)

brainzach (2032950) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246934)

Ok, look at the image where they annotate various buttons with the frequency of use (10th image down). I thought this was a joke. If MS has such detailed usage statistics, why wouldn't they order or size the buttons according to frequency of use. Why is 'New Folder' (1%) the same size as 'Paste' (19%) and twice the size of 'Cut' (7%).

Probably because most people don't know about the new folder button. One of the advantages of the ribbon is it makes important features more discoverable by the average user.

Makes it official (2)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246868)

Everyone will be skipping Windows 8. Seems like every other version of Windows is determined by boneheads with a barely functional magic 8 ball.

Minimize (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246884)

For those complaining about the ribbon taking up more screen space, it can be minimized.

Jesus, look at all that wasted space and UI vomit (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246916)

Oh sure there are clear benefits. For people who have no idea what they're doing and don't realize you can ctrl-c/ctrl-v files.

And how can you possibly think that's a clear layout, even for those people? Maybe we should slap some more separators in there, the more separators you add the better it gets.

On the positive side, if you can collapse those tabs like you can in Office, at least you can hide the mess and do everything with keyboard controls.

Re:Jesus, look at all that wasted space and UI vom (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247032)

Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh, I do generally like Windows 7 as my primary desktop, but c'mon, you can afford to hire some UI designers. Pay what you have to, and for gods sake don't let the programmers and engineers design anything.

Ugh. (1)

Cooknn (837936) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246918)

Long live Mac OS X. I hope.

Total Commander (3, Insightful)

Xian97 (714198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246928)

I have been using Total Commander [ghisler.com] since Windows 3.1 as a file manager. Every version of the Windows File Manager and Explorer seems very limited to what I can do with Total Commander.

This new one even looks like it is a step backwards yet again. I hate the ribbon interfaces in Office 2007 and used a third party addon to get the old menus back, so I doubt if I will like the Windows 8 ribbons any better.

I try so hard to like the ribbon (2)

DrXym (126579) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246948)

But I just can't. I realise it's all logically ordered, with task centric tabs and all the actions right there to hand. But my day is filled will little brain farts because the buttons I want to access are not visible until I figure out the "task" they belong to. So I have to click on the tab and then the button (hopefull) appears and I click somewhere else. And invariably I have to flip to another tab straight after and I end up moving the mouse around and clicking a lot more than I would if there was a context sensitive toolbar.

It just seems so much slower than toolbars. Not to say toolbars don't have their own issues but ribbons can be downright annoying.

Dammit (1)

mrquagmire (2326560) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246960)

I HATE the stupid ribbon. It's huge, messy, and unintuitive. Maybe it's time I switch to OSX.... or Linux even.

Touch UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37246962)

The Ribbon seems more usable on a touch screen. I guessing that is the primary reason for going that direction.

Sadly, it's a 'good' move (1)

dawning (1532689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246972)

I've never really loved Ribbon UIs, but only because of PEBKACs around me coming to me whining cause they're useless at looking at something right in front of them. Why switching Explorer to a Ribbon UI sounds like a good move to me is because they're using it in other flagship products that actually sort of require and benefit from that kind of workflow. While Explorer could probably get away with a less able UI, the droves of PEBKACs that roam the planet will whimper and annoy slightly less if Explorer as the same UI as they see in other places. Old school PEBKACs will whine regardless, but new ones will not reach their peak crying-volume, thanks to decisions like this. I may loathe most things Microsoft, but really, I think they made a call that makes the average sanity level just a little better than if they'd done anything else. Now, if the MS Office team decides to make a totally new UI shortly after this, that'll be like the best self-trolling since Chris Crocker.

Re:Sadly, it's a 'good' move (1)

dawning (1532689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246994)

PS - I use Ubuntu Linux ;)

I like it (1)

Reapman (740286) | more than 2 years ago | (#37246976)

I admit I had to RTFA, but after reading it I like - it seems to solve a lot of the complaints they increase screen real estate (and even more if you hide the ribbon WHICH YOU CAN), and have added a crazy amount of shortcut keys and customization options to Explorer.

Windows 8 is looking pretty good but will have to see once it goes live if it lives up to the hype they're tossing.

Who Needs Power Users? (1)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247002)

'Of these, the ribbon approach offered benefits in line with our goals.'

Gotta sell more Microsoft mouses.

In this thread. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37247012)

In this thead, users with seven digit uids defending the ribbon, users with less than seven digit uids decrying the ribbon.

*PSST. I THINK THE NEW USERS ARE ASTROTURFERS.*

My brain asplode (1)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37247020)

Simons countered, saying that Microsoft's data -- obtained from millions of Windows people who agree to provide telemetry on how they use the operating system -- showed that 83% of users run Windows 7 on a widescreen display.

Oh, so this guy is on our side. Using a widescreen display, adding a thick ribbon to the top of every window reduces usable space for the user.

Oh, wait. Here's the full quote.

Simons countered, saying that Microsoft's data -- obtained from millions of Windows people who agree to provide telemetry on how they use the operating system -- showed that 83% of users run Windows 7 on a widescreen display. The new Explorer has been designed to make use of the screen's width and minimize the vertical space it consumes.

What? How does adding a ribbon minimize vertical space consumed? Can someone on the West Coast go up to Redmond and kick this guy in the crotch?

My office rolled out Office 2010 last week, and it's driving me bonkers. Outlook 2010 is a caricature, it's what Mad Magazine might design as a joke UI. I have a menu of folders on the left. I have tasks and upcoming meetings on the right. I have a list of messages on top. And on the bottom I have...I don't know what that thing is. "People Pane?" WTF is a people pane?

What I don't have, is much room left for viewing my EMAIL. You know, the purpose for having Outlook in the first place?

the ribbon approach offered benefits in line with our goals

My goals are to view my email, edit my docs, update spreadsheets, etc. My goals are obviously not in line with MS's goals.

(I did manage to minimize the ribbon and get rid of the task list on the right, so I do have a glimpse to the body of my emails, but I can't hide that damn people pane. Any tips would be appreciated. (Unfortunately uninstalling Outlook is not an option.))

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