back to article Microsoft unveils file-move changes in Windows 8

Microsoft has been throwing out crumbs on forthcoming features for Windows 8, but dodged serving up the main course. Windows 8 will clean up the system for downloading files to your PC and changing file names, Microsoft has said on its newly launched Building Windows 8 blog. The successor to Windows 7 will combine file …


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  1. lawndart


    Will Microsoft be restoring the space remaining on disk information they infuriatingly removed from Win7's Explorer status bar? Or will we still have to download a third party application that restores that vital power-user admin function?

    1. Ammaross Danan

      Space Remaining

      Space remaining is simple enough to see. In Win7 Explorer, click "computer" and it shows the drives in the system with a bar showing used vs free space. Click on any of the drives and it shows "Space free:" in the status bar. Not as simple as always showing X free diskspace in the status bar all the time, but usually you should have an idea of how much disk space you have left....

      What I hope they improve is the file renaming, so if you have, for instance a bunch of photos named "DCIM_0001", "DCIM_0002", etc, you could select all of them and rename them to end up being "Birthday2010_0001", "Birthday2010_0002" (retaining the original numberings/letterings in the part of the filename you didn't change), rather than renaming them all to your new name + _00X. It's even worse when you already have them all named, but wanted to add a short prefix to all 100 of them....

      1. PT


        "What I hope they improve is the file renaming"...

        Tasks easily carried out with the 'Group Rename' function of PowerDesk, which is everything Windows Explorer could have been if Microsoft had any imagination. Perhaps they should buy a copy and rip it off, if they're looking for reasons why people should pay yet again for another unnecessary version of Windows.

      2. scrubber


        Download CygWin, then type: rename DCIM Birthday2010 DCIM*

    2. Fuzz

      Space remaining is already there

      Set your Computer view to details, tiles or content and space free and total space are displayed for each drive, at least they are on mine.

  2. Si 1

    Will it finally...

    So will this finally fix the problem where you start copying a whole bunch of files and then halfway through it encounters something it cannot copy for some vague reason and just stops copying the rest of the files? I hate that you then have to manually ascertain what has and hasn't been copied over and then manually select the remaining files to copy.

    Sure I could use some file sync/transfer program, but shouldn't the OS be clever enough to deal with basic copying of files from A to B?

    1. Michael 47

      Windows does this now...

      Windows 7 (and maybe Vista, not sure...) already does this now. It will transfer all the files it can, and then gives prompts for each file it couldn't copy (or a tick box for 'do this action for all remaining files of course)

    2. Test Man


      Guess who hasn't upgraded from XP yet...

    3. kevjs

      Vista does that already

      Vista already does that - giving you the option to "Try Again", "Retry" or "Cancel", rather handy when Windows Media Player has decided it wants to keep a video open, again.

    4. Jean-Luc Silver badge

      @Si 1

      real men use Robocopy

      1. bazza Silver badge

        @Si 1: Real men?

        Real hairy chested weather beaten gruff talking wizzened old men use Xtree Gold, or possibly it's very welcome Windows clone ZTree bold.

        1. Martin

          Real men don't even use Windows...

          ...and if they must, they use the command line.

  3. Armando 123

    Uh, what?

    "Windows 8 will clean up the system for downloading files to your PC and changing file names"

    So they'll be adding sftp and rm then?

    Mine's the one with the BSD install DVDs in the pocket

    1. The BigYin

      I am waiting for them... suck in librsync (or similar) and then crow like it's all amazing and new.

      MS - rocking your world like pre-1996.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      ...I'll switch to an operating system which is ground-up unfamiliar, and supports 0 of the applications I use for my company.

      I suppose the next response is, "Don't use those programs', to which I reply, 'Find me several excellent driving simulators that run on *nix and can also be use by people running windows'. Oops, you can't, since they don't exist.

      Presumably, after that, the response is something along the lines of, "Don't be in that business, luser", but it's tough to predict.

      The irony is that I probably would have persevered in my several linux-ish excursions had the linux-ish fans not had such a massive proportion of arrogant, know-it-all, antisocial blowhards in their ranks.

      You want to know why linux isn't more popular? People saying stuff like, "I've been doing that with xt-deadnewt for 10 years!" and "mine's the one with BSD install DVDs in the pocket". Hint: if you want to convert Windows users, an insult should not be the first thing they hear.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Also another way to totally baffle a linux guru......

        ...ask for clear, precise step by step/click by click instructions on how to make techinical changes or tasks in linux.

        Never happen. Way beyond their comprehension.

        All they can say is "Duhhhhh, just recompile your kernel in KDE 4.5 and then install the tar.gz and enter the lines sg-ts-45dhfjd@@ into it..blah blah blah............."


        1. The BigYin

          @jason 7

          I'm guessing that was addressed to me.

          This is the 21st century, what normal end-user would dois find the program they want in the package manager or app store.

          Select "Install"

          Authorise themselves (to prove they have rights to install)

          Click a few buttons (if that)

          Err....job done. No need to grub around websites, reboot, worry about versions or updates.

          There is also a reason that some information for doing things in GNU/Linux is given as CLI - it's cut n' paste, often universal and quicker to type out. The problem is not GNU/Linux using the CLI, it's Windows not using it (even OS X has a proper CLI FFS). Have to explain what buttons to click also goes out of date as soon as the UI changes. You do know that in GNU/Linux people can run many, many different window managers, decorators and desktops don't you?

    3. AceRimmer

      Adding sFTP

      lose-lose for MS

      If Microsft did add an sFTP client to windows then they'll be accused of "screwing" the third party sFTP application providers

  4. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files

    Well, duh - what the hell else do you use a file manager for, other than managing files?

    Meanwhile, ursine excrement continues to be located in forested areas...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, I'm probably being an idiot here, but...

    "While IE9's market share is growing, it has failed to arrest IE's overall market slide"

    How exactly can you have a market slide when your market share is growing? WTF?

  6. Lamont Cranston

    Am I being thick, or are

    "copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files" not the reason that Windows Explorer exists?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes you are...

      IE9's share is growing, but the overall market share across all versions of IE is diminishing.

    2. Handle M'Baughbags


      The total IE share is for IE6, 7, 8 and 9, that's dropping, but the share for IE9 by itself is going up, albeit more slowly.

    3. MJI Silver badge


      Most important utility on Windows

      REN words

      MD works

      CD works

      1. Anonymous IV
        Thumb Up


        And so does ROBOCOPY work...

        1. MJI Silver badge
          Thumb Up


          Well over 20 years on PCs and that looks usefull

      2. greggo
        Thumb Down

        no, cd doesn't work, never has

        c:\home> cd d:\data


        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward


          You'd want to use

          cd /d d:\data

          You see MSDOS/Windows remembers the directories you were at on each drive so the behaviour you don't like is to be expected.

      3. mittfh


        The most useful commands in CMD.EXE?



        deltree (if that still exists)


        format c: /u

        deltree /y c:\*.*

    4. Lloyd Kinsella


      Overall IE use is sliding, it just means more users are moving to IE9 from other IE6.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        "Overall IE use is sliding, it just means more users are moving to IE9 from other IE6."

        That'll be a challenge in itself, what with an upgrade to 9 being impossible if you are running anything older than 8. Only wat to go from 6 to 9 is to go to Win7.

    5. Pirate Dave Silver badge

      I thought...

      that was what the "File Open" dialog was for in MS Word... at least that's how my users do it. ;)

    6. Solomon Grundy

      Me Too

      I thought that's what it was for myself. I guess I need to look into the other 50% of Windows Explorer that I'm not using....

    7. Jerome 0

      More to the point

      If "IE did nothing but march north" since 1998, how can its market share now be decreasing? It must have started slipping back south at some point.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm fascinated to know

    what else people are using Windows Explorer to do

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Finding a file to open?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Other browsing?

    When did IE overtake Netscape for non-pron browsing?

  9. Annihilator

    Shirley the browser?

    "The successor to Windows 7 will combine file download dialogue boxes into a single box, you'll be able to stop and pause downloads, and rather than trying to estimate how long a download has left to run, the new operating system will instead feature a graph that shows the data transfer speed, transfer rate trend, and how much data is left to transfer."

    So... what Firefox predominantly already does?

    Or if we're talking about general file transfers on the local machine, what OSX has been doing for years?

    Distinctly unimpressed.

  10. Handle M'Baughbags

    File operations

    Apart from the "duh" sounds everyone is making, surely the singularly most popular operation in Windows Explorer is launching applications? Most people I know don't use Windows Explorer to manage files. They either don't (and so everything goes into the location the application suggests, such as "My Documents" or "Downloads") or use something to manage it for them (like iTunes, a photo album or ebook organizer).

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    RIP - The windows 'time remaining' fantasy game

    How a file copy can go from 6eons remaining to 5 seconds in less time than it takes Usain Bolt to run 100m has always been a source of amusement.

    Will their new graph get rid of the uncertainty?

    How much screen real estate will it take up. With these ever shrinking Verticals(aka those silly widescreen displays), these are the sorts of things we need to know.

    At least they have taken half a step forward.

    Paris for no other reason than there was a piccy of her in a Blue wig in the Metro today.

  12. dotdavid
    Thumb Up

    Obligatory XKCD

    ...oh you've already done it. Nevermind then.

    1. Test Man

      Who cares?

      Who really cares if Firefox does it or if OS X does it? Windows doesn't... and now it will do. That's all that matters for people who actually use Windows.

    2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Why not click on the link in the article and take a look?

      Personally, I think the little graph thing is a good idea. I look forward to seeing this appropriated by other operating systems...

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Love to, but the video won't play in IE6,7,8 or Firefox 5.

        Rather odd that they should choose to prevent the vast majority of corporate clients from viewing the video, given that the vast majority of MSDN subscribers are corporates.

    3. magnetik

      Re: Shirley the browser?

      True enough but OS X Lion got its own share of underwhelming features - resize windows from any corner? Apple's Finder is still a piece of junk. PathFinder is one of the first progs I install on a new Mac. Likewise file dialogue boxes in OS X are rubbish - why can't we rename / delete / move a file when saving a new copy of something? Apple have a lot of catching up to do there.

      On this topic, when will programs like installers get more intelligent progress displays? An installer has to take several steps such as:

      1) check that the disk has space for your app

      2) check that it can write into the target directory

      3) copy a bunch of files

      4) add stuff to the registry (or config files in *nix)

      5) add shorcuts / menu items

      Too many apps treat each of those steps as equal amounts of work so that your progress bar shoots to 40% in a couple of seconds, then sits there for 5 minutes while the files are copied, and completes the last .40% in a few more seconds. You may as well not have a progress bar at all.

      1. Steve Knox

        They did.

        "On this topic, when will programs like installers get more intelligent progress displays? "

        Around the early nineties. I noticed a trend then with installers for Windows 3.1 apps. A lot of them were showing two progress bars: one for the current task (which was clearly described above said progress bar) and one for the overall install. Then InstallShield came along, everyone stuffed function for ease of development and a flashy interface, and the intelligent progress display disappeared.

  13. Anonymous Coward

    Feature request

    I wish they would add an "I'm the administrator, stop trying to second guess me and just do what I fucking tell you without asking stupid questions" button.

    1. Anonymous IV
      Thumb Down

      Feature request

      If they said that, they'd have to pop up a window saying, "Contains language and mild violence"...

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Steve Knox

      @AC: Feature request

      Control Panel > User Accounts > User Account Control Settings > Never Notify

      Any other features you'd like added? Perhaps a use for that right-mouse button?

    4. Anonymous Coward

      You can

      There is a feature to allow all activity without bugging you.

      It's dangerous, go for it.

    5. The Original Steve

      Call yourself an Administrator?

      Stop dragging real Windows Admins into your group. Apart from the advantages UAC provides in terms of compatibility for naughty legacy apps, it enables Admins to run apps under a different security context from within the GUI (without running "runas" from the command line).

      And that's alongside preventing prick "Administrators" who "know best" from ALWAYS running with high privillages which is the biggest single reason why most XP and older machines are so full of crap and viruses.

      I assume you're one of the "Administrators" who knows only ever executes files you've compiled yourself and checked the source code as you always run with elevated rights. Anything else would be foolish as I'm sure a professional like yourself would agree with...?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      IT Angle

      They have

      As others pointed out; MS has done just that and in multiple ways and forms.

      Powershell; a command line interface giving you access to just about everything you'd want to control on Windows.

      MMC (management console); a (customizable) GUI which gives you GUI access to just about everything you'd want to control / configure on Windows.

      The "run as administrator" option. Messing in \program files or \windows\system32 and getting access denials? "start -> all programs -> accesoires -> right click on 'explorer' and 'run as administrator'". Now you can even completely trash your Windows directory if you'd want to.

      If there's one real flaw to be found here its that MS picked up too late on decent OS security, which is also the main reason why you might need to adapt when moving from XP to Vista/Win7 administration. I'm not making this up btw; its something many MS engineers have declared themselves.

      And I totally agree that if you're new to Windows 7 it maybe a little hard to find the admin tools since they are a little buried and some changed location (again). Obviously because the OS - by default - is aimed at end users.

      But Window admins should know their way to TechNet by now IMO. Here is an excellent place to start, the Windows 7 TechCenter. Also with direct links to the TechNet library (which contains more detailed information on Windows administration):

    7. Tom 13


      Are you Sure? (Y/N)

  14. Jolyon Ralph

    What I really want to see

    is a file copy queue. So if I drag 10 files from disk A to disk B, they start copying. But now, if I drag another 10 files, it starts a second queue of 10 files copying at the same time.

    Now, there are time I may be copying 100 large files from disk A to B and then want to copy a small file from A to B at the same time, and want that concurrently, but the majority of time it would be far more sensible (and less thrashing) to append the second block of ten files to the original queue.

  15. Arctic fox

    Maybe I am being a bit slow here but.........

    "According to that data, copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files are "far and away the most heavily used features within Windows Explorer" and account for half of all commands."

    ...................did one actually need a survey to realise that? Given that once you have launched an application (and later close it - just two actions) and are working within it then the above actions very often occur time and again. Especially if you are working with two or more related files. However, having said that I hope that their efforts actually lead to genuine improvement for the user.

  16. Stephen 1

    Directory Opus

    Surely downloads are done by your browser usually, and it's not like you are going to be using IE is it.

    Also, anyone worth their geek wings should be using Directory Opus in place of Windows Explorer anyway, it is simply brilliant, and no, I have no connection with the company.

    1. I am the Walrus

      Re: Directory Opus

      Classic, I still use D Opus whenever I fire up my old Amiga. It felt like such a step backwards when I finally had to move to a Mac as a main work machine.

    2. bubba-bear

      Pricey Windows Explorer substitute

      Directory Opus on a single computer (plus an additional personal laptop).

      Purchase now for only AUD $85 [55 GBP, 89 USD]

  17. Semaj

    File Locks and Ending Processes

    Personally I'm hoping for improvements to the way "open" files and rogue processes are handled so that as the admin I could actually force a process to end or forcefully remove a lock from a file. As it is, some naughty applications (I'm looking at you Outlook) can even stop you rebooting cause of this.

    1. Wintermute

      What!? Undeletable Files?! Impossible.


      Killing handles to open files?

      You should REALLY try Process Explorer from Mark Russinovich, formerly of SysInternals and now part of the Borg proper.


      1. Open Process Explorer

      2. Press CTRL+F

      3. Type in the name of the wayward file

      4. TA DA! There's the program that's holding it (usually Adobe Acrobat Reader)

      5. Kill the process and the file is deletable.

      Honestly, is it that hard?

      1. Tinker Tailor Soldier

        NT still got this wrong

        It's just more robust to zombie the file and delete it when all the files are done. About half the time some installer needs to reboot its because it can't replace a file on disk and has to do it with MoveFileEx (i.e. wait until after reboot).

      2. Semaj

        Got it Already

        I should have said that I already use that one and it works well much of the time but there are still occasions when it fails to make any difference.

        The one I remember recently was magicdisc on win7. Neither task manager or process explorer could kill it.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thank you...

        I've been using Process Explorer for a while. I actually replaced XP task manager with it. I guess it works for Win 7 too.

        And I don't use Windows Explorer anymore, I use 2xExplorer Z1. Or xplorer2 (square).

        IT's fast, it's dirty, it show two windows bundled together to make copy/paste trivially easy by putting both windows side by side. It compares folders (inclusive content of files) on a single button-mash. It moves / copies files on a single button, and lets you overwrite without confirmation prior to beginning the copy. It lets you take a look at files binary (with corresponding hex view), or lets you edit txt files directly. It can split / merge files, without a zip/compression tool too.

        And joy of joys, it shows you drive letters as buttons, just like WINDOWS FREAKING WORKGROUPS 3.11 used to do.

        Check the UI here:,1,out.jpg

    2. The Original Steve


      taskkill /pid <PID> /f /t

    3. cybersaur

      re: file locks

      I've used Unlocker for years to, um, unlock files. It works great for most files (sometimes it will prompt you to let it unlock a file after a reboot).

    4. Bighands'

      File Locks Suck

      These locks are the bane of my life! Why can't I rename an open file!? Or move one to a better folder while I'm editing!? I can't believe Win7 didn't fix this. It has been possible on a UNIX system for years... If they can sort this out then I might actually start to use their O/S. I'm not interested in comments like "a user should know better than to rename an open file" etc. Computers are supposed to make our lives easier!

  18. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


    Forget about the Explorer - it will never do anything right because, I'm sure, people who wrote it never used it themselves for anything (otherwise they would have known that it's useless since when they first released it with Win'95).

    Nothing will ever make it work.

    Use a proper file manager like FAR or something else...

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov


      I see that there are at least 5 members of the Windows Explorer Appreciation Society on this forum...

  19. westlake

    Windows 7 and Internet Explorer

    Net Applications had this to say about IE and Windows 7:

    "Browser Wars"

    Microsoft skipped XP support for Internet Explorer 9 in order to compete more effectively on Windows 7.

    In July on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9 hit 18.5% share worldwide and 24.8% in the United States.

    There are indications that this strategy is working.

    Although Internet Explorer lost usage share on XP, on Windows 7, Microsoft increased global usage share, going from 54.6% in June to 54.8% in July.

    In the U.S., Internet Explorer share on Windows 7 grew 0.6% to 68.1%.

    Microsoft has been pushing Internet Explorer 9 and Windows 7 as the best browsing experience on Windows 7 because of IE9's use of hardware acceleration and integration with the Windows 7 user interface.

    IE 9 and Win 7 have about the same market share in the states.

    If I had to pick a loser in this round of the browser wars, it would be Firefox.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      For web browsers...

      ... the underlying OS doesn't matter. Otherwise you could claim using the same method that Lynx on BSD is king because of its 80%+ market share on this OS (note: number plucked out of bum).

      1. Annihilator


        I suspect Safari is the king on BSD.. ;-)

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On the Edge of Sleep

    Really, does anyone care about Windows anymore?

    It's the OS you have to use at work, but otherwise....Zzzzzzzz

  21. jubtastic1


    The only new bit is the conflict panel, and it doesn't look like it's going to work well for anything other than images and it's debatable whether it makes that easier, reminiscent of the PHD sync error dialogs on OS X that my users don't want to deal with.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Need it unfortunately

      Its what most people run their businesses on.

      Servers - pick 1 of the 3 you want

    2. adnim Silver badge


      Have little to no choice, purchase a new laptop or PC and it likely to be Windows all the way down.

      Try getting a machine with anything else installed at an on-line or a brick consumer electronics shop.

      A heat gun makes the COA labels very easy to relocate ;-)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow, they're making changes to copying and renaming files?

    IDGAF, I use TeraCopy and Free Download Manager anyway.

  23. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Lots of improvements I'd like

    1.Sort out your damn' focus stealing. An application should only ever come to the foreground if it (or its icon if just launched) was the last thing clicked.

    2.If I'm navigating around the Start menu then leave the bloody thing open. No matter what else happens don't take it away from me. Especially not when you detect that I might about to click something.

    3.If I click on a text box then just put the cursor where I clicked. Don't highlight the entire contents.

    4.Sub-pixel addressing might be clever and might be cute but some of your users just can't handle it. At all. Make it optional and if there's a system setting then bloody honour it in all your applications!

    5.Sort out the context menu in Explorer. If you can't populate everything within a tenth of a second then populate as much as you can and fill the rest in in the background.

    6.Try and work out why nearly everything I do results in an hourglass. It's getting annoying.

    7.For MMC hosted apps - please remember whether the action pane was last left visible or not.

    8.A special plea:Sort out the craptastic performance of the Event Viewer. It should not take a quad core machine with 4GB of RAM half a minute to populate.

    1. Oninoshiko

      to extend your point 1

      for the love of $deity, ban the model dialog. This has been a complaint of mine since the introduction of the GUI. there is ABSOLUTELY nothing that so important an application has to interfere with my usage of another app. If you need to tell me something to continue, pop the dialog and go to sleep until I respond.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This would be a great oppurtunity to

    add things like tabs, or information about the size of a directories contents.

    bet they won't bother though.

    yes i know about foldersize and qt tab bar, the point is that ms should add them themselves.

  25. Turtle


    "That means IE is precisely at the point it was in 1998 when it finally nudged past Marc Andreessen's Netscape to become the most widely used browser for the *fist* time."

    Indeed. Not quite grammatical, but I think that we can all agree with the sentiment.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    what about search...

    how about they fix windows search while they're "fixing things"... it's abominable.

    1. IsJustabloke

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

      I don't think anyone has ever found anything they were actually looking for by using windows serach.. except maybe by accident.

      I have "searched" a single directory which contains only the file I'm actually looking for and it still hasn't found it!

      ummmm... I was doing it to prove a point to a doubting colleague :-)

  27. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    So downloading a file is a function of the operating system now?

    Fine, but everywhere else it is a feature of the web browser.

    Or are we back to saying that they're really the same thing?

    Well... third-party, sophisticated file downloading programs are popular and useful. Napster, Limewire, RapidShare....

    Of course Windows can share files on the na!etwork too - sometimes when you don't want it to...

  28. greggo

    Need more options

    [x] don't try to thumbnail/summary content on optical drives unless asked.

    [x] likewise network drives

    [x] don't try to thumbnail image files which are, say, 15k x 10k pixels. Kill thumbnail process which consumes more than X ram.

    [x] disable the feature where thumbnail/summary threads hang and hold files open.

    [x] don't look inside zip files when searching files (unless I say so)

    [x] don't even pretend you know what a zip file is.

    [x] don't do stupid magic things (like deleting an html file when I delete the directory alongside it) without asking first.

    [x] don't obey any drag &drop command which took less than 0.4 second to execute

    [x] don't do 'undo' without asking if ok, if the action being undone was more than 20 seconds ago.

    [x] don't do 'paste' without asking if ok, if the cut or copy was more than 20 seconds ago.

    [x] don't create shortcut on drag/drop based on dubious criteria

    [x] produce a suitably humble apology with full and proper explanation, when I try to rename something to a reserved name, like "Con.Air.avi"

    [x] don't claim that filenames like ".foo" are not allowed.

  29. DryBones

    The List

    1) Dump Libraries. What have they done for me lately? Annoy the hell out of me when even after being "removed" by a registry hack, they continue to be the first stop for WordPad ( I like a fast doc viewer, focus guys ). Bonus fail: Self-opening a subdirectory in the Libraries while I'm negotiating the drive tree and in so doing changing my target directory without my input. This is shite, KILL IT.

    2) Process prioritzation. The OS should be focused on doing what the user wants as fast as posible. I opened Firefox, then went to open the Start menu, Firefox should take a backseat to the Start menu, which should take a backseat to STILL following what I'm doing.

    3) Don't dynamically generate the Start menus. These things do not change every 40ms. There is an icon cache, why not generate the tile and click framework for say the control panel once and have it ready to go instead of needing 15-20 seconds to whip it out? Do not rebuild it every time it is accessed, rebuild it when it is CHANGED, by user input. This is just plain bad.

    4) Dump the Registry. If you MUST have a central reference for the OS stuff, fine. But smack programs and applications back to ini and cfg files in their own directories. They are not part of the OS, they can stay in their corner until called for. Bonus: Backup and reinstall is as easy as copying a directory. Yes, I like when all the contents of one thing are in the same box.

    5) 4 is what some expected for a pc version of the XBox, to be included with some or other version of Windows. The XBox still has a purpose as an affordable standalone games machine, but why not let those of us who have the hardware and bought the game use it to make pixels scream? Drop in a title, it makes a directory to keep its kruft in, job done. Uninstall bits like XBox nominal. Bring on the Game Player. :)

    1. Goat Jam

      Backup and reinstall is as easy as copying a directory

      Actually, it was a deliberate design decision by MS to allow/require applications to spray their shit all over the OS like some sort of diarrhetic goose.

      They did this to stop people from copying office from their work PC to home PC.

      Back in the 90's it was possible to copy the MS office folder from one PC to another and have a perfectly good, working copy.

      Forced installs were a way of combating that practice, so I wouldn't be holding my breath and expecting that to change anytime soon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Goat Jam

        That's some pretty powerful conspiracy theory you've got going there.

        No, they added the registry to centrilise all configurations information and unify the way that it was handled. I personally prefer a fully journalled database to store my config settings, rather than a bajillion .conf files scattered all over the filesystem at the whim of the software author.

        1. Goat Jam

          Centralise all configurations

          You say that like it is a *good* thing to do.

      2. Tom 13

        Fine. Keep the registry to force installs for the program,

        but FFS put the user specific config files in an easily copyable location.

  30. Steve McPolin

    Firefox rocks Antarctica

    MS really dropped the ball on this. Great little gizmo for market share, btw.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    the api now supports

    Let me guess,

    ztree and a sticky rollup transparent console?

    or was that process hacker replaces the task manager?

    or was it classic menu replaces the seach and no find start button

    or did you have to code your own interface to control windows?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    CPU usage

    On the whole, I applaud MS for updating the file copying to be more in line with other OSes. However, copying large or multiples of files often seemed to take forever, so it'll be nice to watch a little graph animating and using up extra CPU cycles while I pull my hair out.

    THIS is the whole problem with windows. Stop treating Windows users like children .. "ooh look at the little uppy downy graph, that'll keep my attention while it takes forever to copy my files". Yes, Mac OS does it too, but it's a more efficient system with less bloat to begin with, they can afford to do that. MS needs to strip all the legacy crap out of Windows and start afresh. The exception is the legacy .ini files, they were a superior option to the registry. Need to back up your applications settings? Just copy the 5kb .ini file. Uninstalling a program leaves it settings behind? Delete it's folder and .ini file. I know there's other settings in the Registry, but a lot of it is pointless or not used frequently enough. Reduce it's size to the essentials and let apps keep their settings in their own folders.

    Animated and oversized rendered buttons are not required, nor is a massive registry of settings you might never use. It's bloat. It takes process cycles to re-draw those buttons and animate them. That's the kinda crap that delays button presses and menus displaying. It's too busy blitting and cropping and masking and fading to do the actual function you requested.

    Of course half the problem is the users, "look how super cool my desktop looks with all my gadgets and animated effects". Then the next complaint is "I think I have a virus, it seems to be running awful slow" or "Maybe I need more RAM". NO, just turn off the pointless animated playschool graphical shite. Then you can get some work done or get extra FPS for your game.

    That's the way linux based OSes tend to do it (we'll forget Gnome 3 and Unity for now). If you want animated windows and spinny cubes and snow flakes and more bloated shite on your desktop, you turn it on. When installing windows I have to go and turn off all these fading menus and animated buttons & drop-downs and blahblahblah. Fast, efficient code and graphics are key for a lean, smooth running system.

    PS. Why does a site keep insisting that there's no u in colour? Ah, you're probably hosted in the US of A? That'll be the reason then. FFS.

  33. David Paul Morgan

    whatever happened to..?

    ... the replacement file system for NTFS?

  34. wsm

    Windows Exploder can't do math

    The problem with MS file management has always been that the progress indicator for copying or moving files took the total number of files measured against the rate of transfer for the most recent few files to arrive at a total time estimate, which was updated periodically. This made for time estimates of, at first, 2 minutes, followed by 3 days, then 18 hours, 14 minutes, 98 minutes, and so on.

    Using the total number of bits to transfer divided by the transfer rate would have been better, but apparently too complicated for MS programmers.

  35. Jonski

    Quelle surprise

    "According to that data, copying, moving, renaming, and deleting files are "far and away the most heavily used features within Windows Explorer" and account for half of all commands."

    It's a file manager, FFS.

    In other news, getting in and out of a car, driving to destinations and carrying passengers and loads are far and away the most heavily used features of a private motor vehicle.*

    *Except in certain chav locations, where the main activities are listening to crap music, standing around in crap clothes drinking crap booze and dealing crap drugs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      you forgot

      shagging on the back seat

  36. Jonski

    On second thoughts...

    Bring back XTree Gold.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge


      its a free version and it works with win 7

  37. AB

    @Armando 123

    Only the BOFH uses rm to 'rename' files...

  38. AnoniMouse

    File delete improvements

    Perhaps MS will fix the bug in Windows Explorer that makes it appear that you have selected a file in the right hand pane ... whilst in reality it's the entire folder in the left hand hand pane that gets trashed when you hit the delete key.

    Surely, with more than 20 years of window-based GUIs, even the MS folk must recognise that the focus (on which actions are performed) must be clear and unambiguous.

  39. poohbear

    Oh No!

    I'm horrified. Has MS absolutely no idea of the chaos this is going to cause in Hollywood, where their overdone "copying file" dialogues while the baddies bash down the door are going to look even sillier than they already do.?

  40. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

    I'm surprised...

    that no-one has mentioned Total Commander. I would not use a Windows machine without it.

    I certainly would never use Explorer unless I was forced to.

    1. davemcwish
      Paris Hilton

      So am I

      I use TC regularly as a file manager and to backup my important files onto an external hard drive. As with Jobsian devices - it just works and anyone can use it even Ms Hilton.

      With regards to Win 8, I'd also ask them to go fix the search function in Explorer, not intuitive and too slow (even after indexing).

    2. IsJustabloke

      I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

      interestingly, those graphics often appear to be based on some far more Apple'y than MS'ey

  41. This post has been deleted by its author

  42. MJI Silver badge

    More fixes I would like

    They are directories and have always been directories not effin folders.

    Show the full file name by default, rather than hide them, we want to know what a file is called.

    One last update to fix XP file dialog - I have lost around 2 days of programming time on XP machines having to change them to detail, remove type, ect ect, every time I change a directory I have to reset up the columns aghhh.

    (Now on Win 7 and File dialog works OK)

  43. yossarianuk

    Windows learning to tell the time (like Linux)

    Yet another bonus of running Linux on the desktop.

    The bastard doesn't repeatedly lie to you....

  44. daftdave

    Video doesn't work in Firefox...

    Indeed I can confirm this, doesn't work on my Firefox 6 on 64-bit Linux.

    Works with Chrome though.

  45. David 66

    lol at the linked MS article

    Where it says "And here you can see how the speed of file transfer increases substantially when two of the copy jobs are paused"

    it shows 2 of 3 copy operations paused and whilst the remaining job is now copying 4x faster, it is showing the same 2m30s remaining despite having 200MB less remaining to be copied in that operation.

  46. Andy 70

    copy times...

    i dunno what everyones whinging about. the "microsoft minute" is a known unknown quantity.

    just 'cause it shows you how long it'll take given if the last sample of transfer rate is averaged over the entire length of the transfer, rather than the average since the start, has shown me what files are fragmented, how badly, and also, if someone is eating too much bandwidth on the network. depending on disk to disk, or disk to net copy.

    basicly it shows you how shoddy your system is at that exact moment in time.

    instead of crying about it, use it.

    oh, and i use hipster linux. it's so underground, now i've told you about it, i have to install something else.

  47. Inachu

    Just as long as it can play WOW and AOE2

    Just as long as it can play World of Warcraft and Age of Empires 2 then i'm happy.

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