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Windows team manager Alex Simons gives the public a taste of file management in Windows 8.  (Source: MSDN/Microsoft)

The new client consolidates your mess of Windows into a single neat GUI pane.  (Source: MSDN/Microsoft)

You can now get details galore on copy speed and more.  (Source: MSDN/Microsoft)

There's also a new interface for selectively resolving file conflicts.  (Source: MSDN/Microsoft)
All sorts of new additions should reduce pain and clutter when copying files with Win 8

Anyone who's ever had to prepare for a reinstall of their Windows OS -- be it to prepare for an upgrade, or to try to solve technical issues -- is familiar with the pain of slow copies, dealing with at times confusing name collisions, and multiple cluttering Windows.

Microsoft Corp. (
MSFT) is very aware of these issues (in recent years it's increasingly collected remote telemetry data from volunteers to determine what's going wrong and right in Windows).  And in Windows 8, its plan is to offer a dramatically improved file transfer experience.

In a post to the Microsoft Developer Network "Building Windows" 
blog and a corresponding video, Windows engineering team manager Alex Simons shows off the new features.

When executing multiple simultaneous copies, gone are the multiple windows of yore.  You now get a single comprehensive panel.  Each transfer element offers the option of cancelling or pausing the transfer.  For example, if you want to speed up a specific transfer, you can pause your other transfers so the system resources will focus on the targeted transaction.

The GUI element also has an option to provide detailed information on each transaction, including an eye-catching chart of the transfer speed.  The features in the new pane closely resemble those you find in modern browsers for tracking downloads -- and it's a good thing.

Rounding out the improvements is a new option for handling conflicts.  In addition to the replace all and skip all categories found in Windows 7, there's now an option "Choose the files to keep in the destination folder".  This allows for users to select the copy they most want.  This allows you to selectively replace only some files in the destination folder.  You can even double click to open files for further examination.

Microsoft says the new tools will be a valuable addition to Windows 8 as 20 percent of file transfers in previous versions of Windows take longer than 2 minutes to complete.  Further, about 1 in 18 jobs fails, either due to a network interruption or by user cancellation.

The company also acknowledges it's estimates of the remaining time to copy haven't been the best in the past, making it the butt of some jokes in that regard.  Mr. Simons writes, "We’re anticipating that many of you are going to want to know what we’ve done to improve the accuracy of the estimated time remaining for a copy to complete. (This has been the source of some pretty funny 
jokes over the years)."

Microsoft says while approximate 1 out of 200 Windows users use a dedicated copying client -- like TeraCopy, FastCopy, and Copy Handler -- whose abilities may surpass the new additions, for most this will be the first relief from the previous hassle-prone copying.

The team is also working to reduce dialogues labeled by users as "redundant" or "annoying", such as the confirmation of dropping stuff in the recycling bin, or the confirmation of merging folders.

Windows 8 is set to 
release in late 2012 and has been called "revolutionary" by some Microsoft team members and the company's "riskiest" product by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.  The OS will be Microsoft's first operating system to support ARM processors, the first OS to incorporate the stylish metro look, and the first Microsoft OS streamlined for a better tablet experience.

If for some reason you feel some of these new features sound horrible, don't worry.  We've heard Microsoft should be conducting 
a public beta testing/feedback phase for Windows 8 early next year, following in the footsteps of the tremendously successful Windows 7 beta.

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RE: Im still waiting for
By Topweasel on 8/26/2011 10:13:29 AM , Rating: 2
Windows hasn't killed a copy over a single file since Vista came out.

RE: Im still waiting for
By Cypherdude1 on 8/27/2011 3:41:29 AM , Rating: 2
I don't really like the simpler interface of the Windows 7 Explorer. I prefer the Windows XP Explorer interface with the button bar (copy, paste, cut, etc...) and the status bar which specifies how many bytes each folder occupies.

The only way to find out how many bytes are in each Windows 7 folder is to right-click on it and choose properties. Apparently, Microsoft has simplified Explorer to try to appeal to everyone and has satisfied no one.

BTW, I really haven't done any searches yet, but is there any way in Windows 7 to bring back the Windows XP Explorer button and status bars?

RE: Im still waiting for
By bodar on 8/28/2011 9:12:02 AM , Rating: 2
The only way to find out how many bytes are in each Windows 7 folder is to right-click on it and choose properties.

Not entirely true. You can also mouse over it to show size. I prefer to list files in Details View and display the Size attribute right next to the filename. There's some other customizations in Organize > Folder and search options

I disagree that no one is happy. I love the new Explorer, especially Libraries and Breadcrumbs.

Actually there's a 3rd party app that does what you want with Explorer buttons. I can't vouch for it, but it might be worth a shot if you don't like using keyboard shortcuts for Cut/Copy/Paste.

RE: Im still waiting for
By Valahano on 8/28/2011 9:51:59 AM , Rating: 2
There's also an open source Classic Shell extension. Up button, classic start menu, status bar, etc.

RE: Im still waiting for
By Cypherdude1 on 8/27/2011 3:44:53 AM , Rating: 3
Windows hasn't killed a copy over a single file since Vista came out.
I've owned 3.1, 95, 98, 98SE, XP, and now 7. What is this Vista you speak of?


RE: Im still waiting for
By e36Jeff on 8/27/2011 5:54:51 PM , Rating: 5
it was a windows 7 alpha build, not many people have used it.

RE: Im still waiting for
By StanO360 on 8/29/2011 2:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
I had fully updated Vista on a laptop and it worked great. Then I put 7 on it, it was not a dramatic difference, but subtle.

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