Windows 8 file name conflict improvements revealed

In the last entry on Microsoft's official Windows 8 blog page, the company went into some detail on how the next version of the Windows operating system will handle basic functions such as moving files, copying them, renaming files and deleting them. Apparently there was a topic that readers of the blog wanted even more info about. In today's new entry on the Windows 8 blog site, Microsoft talked more about how the operating system will resolve file name conflicts (or as Microsoft calls them, collisions).

Replacing files with the same name can sometimes be a tricky task. For Windows 8, the blog site states, "The idea of optimizing for the 'Replace all' or 'Skip all' choice was introduced. Most of the time, you know exactly what you’re copying and why it is conflicting, and you can make a simple choice about what action to take." Microsoft though about offering different number of "tiers" in order to make sure you are not getting rid of a file you want to keep. In the end the company went through a number of user interfaces before coming up with the basic design that offers a two tier process to make sure you are deleting the file you want to get rid of. Microsoft has made a number of refinements to that design.

Microsoft learned that even though the UI looks better without the traditional check box for file deletes, users like the check box design. Also columns in the design "needed to be more distinct." The company went with a two column design for its final UI. It added, "We’ve continued to conduct more studies and make minor changes since the initial research, but the core design has remained basically the same. It has been very encouraging to witness the ease with which users complete usability tasks. Resolving file name collisions is a tricky problem, but users are efficient and successful."

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They shouldn't be using check boxes if this is going to be a touch friendly OS. They should make the image/icon & metadata a larger clickable area and just highlight it to show it's selected.

Enron said,
They shouldn't be using check boxes if this is going to be a touch friendly OS. They should make the image/icon & metadata a larger clickable area and just highlight it to show it's selected.

Don't worry. From what the blog says, the entire thing (thumbnail, name etc) and the checkbox are a large clickable area - just like you're saying. They just added the checkboxes as a visual clue, because they figured without them testers were confused.

If the few properties or thumbnail they show aren't enough for a user to tell at a glance which version is which, I hope you can do a right-click/properties to view full details or launch the appropriate app (ie, Word for .doc files) from that same dialog box...

I suppose they could also have a button to launch some sort of viewer like WinDiff, or something that shows the content of each file side-by-side.

_dandy_ said,
If the few properties or thumbnail they show aren't enough for a user to tell at a glance which version is which, I hope you can do a right-click/properties to view full details or launch the appropriate app (ie, Word for .doc files) from that same dialog box...

I suppose they could also have a button to launch some sort of viewer like WinDiff, or something that shows the content of each file side-by-side.

The blog says that right clicking on the thumbnail (or the other part, I don't remember which one) will bring up the standard context-menu.

I currently liked how WIndows 7 handled it. I dont know. "Don't replace" "Replace" "Make a copy with (2)" was fine for me.

fuuuu thx ShareShiz, thought I was mental there for a second. Have all the writers @ neowin gone on holiday? Apart from links to old new recently I haven't seen much.....

dhan said,

This is a newer post following up on the first, RTFA.

Yet, this post has NO NEW screenshots thatr are included in the article?

I don't know...I wouldn't mind having a Windows 8 that succeeded Windows 7 by refining the UI, but I don't want an entirely new UI and an optimized Windows 7 UI...it would be too awkward...I know, I know...people are going to say they haven't unveiled the new UI yet...but that's what you think...

Why are they putting so much work into Windows Explorer and the Windows 7 UI? They refined the titlebar buttons, changed the Windows start menu icon...they've done a lot to make it look refined and polished...but that's what worries me...why?! Why are they doing this, I thought they would be busy blending a new UI with the new start UI...not refining the existing one.

It'll just be so awkward being in the new start UI, and then out of it back to something like Windows 7...it'd be like starting up every PC in Media Center just to X it out and get back to the regular desktop...I want something new and alive that fits the start UI better, that makes the start UI needed in someway on every type of device Windows 8 will run on...but I haven't seen it, all I heard at the demos was how if you don't like the new house, you can go back to the old one...and I see this stuff and it makes me feel like what you see is what you get...if you want the old house, you'll GET the old house.

Dessimat0r said,
The UI is good. As far I as I know, OS X has nothing like this. Changing copy + paste depending on context.

I can't tell you exactly how it works as I haven't used OS X a whole lot, but I can say that there is some context to whether dragging a file (and similar actions) will copy or paste it.
That said, I do know that Windows users using OS X are often confused and annoyed at how copy/cut/paste works differently, understandable, that's bound to happen when something works differently, bet the reverse is also true.

Leonick said,

I can't tell you exactly how it works as I haven't used OS X a whole lot, but I can say that there is some context to whether dragging a file (and similar actions) will copy or paste it.
That said, I do know that Windows users using OS X are often confused and annoyed at how copy/cut/paste works differently, understandable, that's bound to happen when something works differently, bet the reverse is also true.

More like how copy/cut/paste doesn't work. OSX's context awareness is terrible. It was marginally improved in Lion, but Finder is still about two decades behind Explorer when it comes to usability. Finder has a "Cut" feature - but it doesn't apply to files "by design."

I love OSX, but holy ****, Finder ****es me off.

Hopefully they add the following options:
Replace all older files
Replace all smaller files

Instead of what it appears to be (visually comparing every file's size and date)

I doubt the smaller files will make it in. Who knows, maybe there will be a small "advanced" link to choose further options.

KSib said,
I doubt the smaller files will make it in. Who knows, maybe there will be a small "advanced" link to choose further options.

they need a better UI than that. reduce the number of user clicks.