The Windows 8 details continue: Today on the Building Windows 8 blog, Alex Simons takes us through some changes to the Windows Explorer, chief among them the fact that Explorer will now be using Microsoft's Ribbon interface.

Love it or hate it, more and more Microsoft applications have been picking up the Ribbon interface since it was introduced in Office 2007 - proponents say it organizes features intuitively and exposes previously buried functionality, while detractors say it contradicts years of learning on the part of its users and takes up too much space on screen. If you don't like the Ribbon, I've got more bad news for you: Simons notes, among other things, that users will not be able to switch back to any sort of classic interface.

For a complete list of changes as well as the thinking behind this change, the blog post is very long and very informative as always - just know that it's probably not going to change your mind about the Ribbon if you've already made it up.

Source: Building Windows 8 Blog

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  • kmmatney - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    The ribbon interface + widescreens with low vertical resolution = suck

    And I'm sure this will be forced on you, without an option for smaller toolbars. I guess you can turn off the ribbon altogether, though.
  • qiankun - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    see the little arrow beneath the close button? it will hide the ribbon all together until you click on one of the tab titles
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Yeah, they act sorta like menues still, they are just really wide now instead of tall. I believe if you double click on the heading, they stay visible/hide until you click them. Sorta steep learning curve, but if they enforce consistency, I could see future users having no issues picking them up.
  • RandyN - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    You can always use Ctrl + F1 to hide the ribbon in any MS app.
  • Eidorian - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    It was may concern as well. Using data gathered from usage statistics they learned that the paltry resolution of 1366 x 768 was becoming the standard. For Windows 8 they built Explorer on the expectation of wider screens and low vertical resolutions. The Ribbon is also collapsible. My suggestion is to read the blog link and watch the video. It starts to feel much more natural and they're bringing back some XP level customization.

    It is really interesting how they are integrating their usage statistics for the masses and really trying to cater to the power users as well. You will be at home in the Ribbon or with keyboard shortcuts.
  • S.D.Leary - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    The problem is not the fact that the ribbon can or cannot be hidden, its the fact that the default resolutions have killed vertical real estate. Even if the ribbon can be hidden, when its out, it kills the vertical space, or will probably overlay whats on the screen, reducing the actual amount of work that you can do with it open.

    If MS was smart, they would take the opportunity to place the ribbon vertically, by default on the left side of the screen (though moveable). This would take a little work on their part to make it look right, but it would allow the vertical to be used for the open document.

  • Eidorian - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    Talk to the hardware makers on their 16:9 binge. I can manage with 1280 x 800 on my Core 2 notebook. I have 1920 x 1200 on my desk.
  • S.D.Leary - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    I can understand their binge. By utilizing only one aspect ratio they can choose to use common size substrates (master "glass" sheets) if they want. I don't know that they do, but thats one of their arguments.

  • Eidorian - Monday, August 29, 2011 - link

    16:9 is the new panel ratio. It works for TV and computer displays. I can understand where manufacturers and hardware vendors are coming from for the sake of production simplicity.

    I still prefer 16:10 though. I hope to get 1600 x 900 in my next notebook. Not my preferred but still an improvement over 1280 x 800.
  • sigmatau - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 - link

    Yes, yes, it is saving them tons of money and forcing the consumer to take a step back in terms of what they are getting for their money. Imagine standard tube tvs replacing HD LCD tvs. Almost the same to me.

    Answer this.... why did they go with glossy vs matte?

    Even a more bizzare question: why are almost all computer monitors where you can control the enviromental lighting to prevent reflections made with matte screens while laptops are used in so many places where you can't control the lighting?

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