In the latest installement of Windows 8 posts, Ilana Smith, lead program manager on the Engineering System team, posted about the changes the team is preparing for the beta released.
identifying duplicate files during conflict resolution: Windows 8 now have a new experience for selecting the right file when file name collisions are encountered during a copy or move.
"In the beta, we've added a new option to the detailed conflict resolution dialog. By checking the box in the bottom left of the dialog, you can filter out all files that match on name, size (down to the byte) and time (down to the granularity of the file system timestamp: 2 seconds for FAT, 100 nanoseconds for NTFS). The system will skip copying or moving these files. This functionality adds no additional time to the operation, works both locally and across networks, and on all types of systems and storage," Smith explained.
"If both sides of the copy operation are on Windows 8 machines, yes, it will be able to take advantage of the increased network throughput on the fly, thanks to advancements in the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol to support multiple channels.
"In the beta, when a system sleeps or hibernates, the copy operation will automatically pause, and when the machine wakes, you can choose to resume the copy by clicking the depressed pause button. (We decided not to have copies automatically resume on wake, as the system environment may have changed significantly in the interim and we do not want to cause an error.)," Smith said.
Just connect an Ethernet cable to your computer, and assuming both computers are on the same network and running Windows 8, they'll seamlessly take advantage of the speed boost.
Explorer: respect picture orientation metadata
In Windows 8, JPEG rotation is lossless when both image dimensions are divisible by 16 (standard image sizes). Additionally, Explorer now respects EXIF orientation information for JPEG images. If your camera sets this value accurately, you will rarely need to correct orientation. Look for a future blog post where we will discuss this in more detail.
Overlay changes to improve performance
Windows 8 continue to prioritize great performance. In Explorer, we found an opportunity for improvement in delays caused by icon overlays. This column has these advantages:
Performance: The column is hidden by default, so the delay is incurred only when you opt into showing this information.
Tri-state: This column has three values: Shared, Not shared, and Private, so you get more detail than you would from the icon overlay.
Sorting/filtering: You can sort and filter the sharing status property, providing more powerful file management capabilities.
Ribbon minimized by default
With the beta, "we'll be making a major change that brings Explorer in line with our design principles for Windows 8. As in our copy dialogs, Task Manager, and Metro style experiences, we will be reducing distractions and trusting users to discover functionality on their own, by minimizing the ribbon by default," Smith added.
In addition, both users alike can quickly learn common Explorer keyboard shortcuts by reading the tooltips on Ribbon buttons:
User setting roaming
Smith notes "We want to make sure you only need configure your Explorer options once. If you maximize your ribbon, and add Undo and Map Network Drive in your Quick Access Toolbar, we want your Explorer to look like that every time. For the beta release, we've added Explorer settings to the attributes that are roamed to your other Windows 8 PCs. In the "Sync your settings" UI, this shows up under "Other Windows settings." (For more information about roaming user settings, take a look at Katie's post.)"
Syncing Explorer settings with Skydrive
Skydrive will offer an option to sync Explorer customizations, in addition to mouse settings.
"Open PowerShell prompt" option vs. "Open Command prompt" option in the File menu. Smith said they added the new Powershell command option. These menu items launch the PowerShell console. The PowerShell ISE continues to be available from the Edit command on a PowerShell file.
pin to Start
In Windows 8 beta, you can now easily pin your favorite folders to Start, and take advantage of the rich customization functionality that we built into it to arrange the folders into groups and into any order you want. Additionally, you can pin shortcuts to executables to Start directly from Windows Explorer, which can be very useful for applications that don't add themselves to the Start screen by default.
Windows Phone 8 will support Windows Phone 7 applications revealed a tweet from Microsoft's Director of Developer Experience, Brandow Watson -- confirmed by stating:
"Any app built today will run on next major Windows Phone version."
From a technical point, how existing apps will work remains unclear. "If Windows Phone 8 boasts a higher resolution it will be odd to see how apps work, and whether they zoom in to be used or not. That in itself could be problematic for developers of Windows Phone 7 apps.