Copying, moving, renaming, and deleting are far and away the most heavily used features within Windows Explorer, representing 50% of total command usage (based on Windows 7 telemetry data). For Windows 8, we want to make sure that using these core file management commands, which we collectively refer to as “copy jobs,” is a great experience.
We know from telemetry data (which is based on hundreds of millions of individuals opting in to provide anonymous data about product usage), that although 50% of these jobs take less than 10 seconds to complete, many people are also doing much larger jobs, 20% of which take more than 2 minutes to complete. Prior versions of Windows Explorer can handle these kinds of jobs, but Explorer isn’t optimized for high-volume jobs or for executing multiple copy jobs concurrently.
Usability studies confirm what most of us know—there are some pretty cluttered and confusing parts of the Windows 7 copy experience. This is particularly true when people need to deal with files and folders that have the same file names, in what we call file name collisions. Lastly, our telemetry shows that 5.61% of copy jobs fail to complete for a variety of different reasons ranging from network interruptions to people just canceling the operation.
In Windows 8, we have three main goals for our improvements to the copy experience:
- One place to manage all copy jobs: Create one unified experience for managing and monitoring ongoing copy operations.
- Clear and concise: Remove distractions and give people the key information they need.
- User in control: Put people in control of their copy operations.
First, we’ve consolidated the copy experience. You can now review and control all the Explorer copy jobs currently executing in one combined UI. Windows 8 presents all pending copy jobs in this single dialog, saving you from having to navigate through multiple floating dialogs looking for the one you need.
Next, we’ve added the ability to pause, resume, and stop each copy operation currently underway. This gives you control over which copy jobs will complete first. You can also click any of the source or destination folders while the copy operation is taking place and open up those folders.
To support this new ability to prioritize and decide, we’ve added a detailed view with a real-time throughput graph. Now each copy job shows the speed of data transfer, the transfer rate trend, and how much data in left to transfer. While this is not designed for benchmarking, in many cases it can provide a quick and easy way to assess what is going on for a particular job.
Here you can see three copy jobs underway:
Our new design is much more clear, concise, and efficient, providing a much more visible and actionable approach to conflict resolution. All the files from the source are on the left. All the files in the target location with file name collisions are on the right. The screen layout is easy to understand and shows you the critical information for all the collisions, front and center in one dialog.