Windows 8.1 'Files' app revealed in leaked build 9369, file browsing comes to the Modern UI

The leaked build 9369 hit the web a few hours ago but users are already starting to uncover features that were not present in the previous leaked Windows 8.1 build such as the new Files app. This application may be the file manager for Windows 8.1 and we are getting another look at the application courtesy of build 9369.

The application will be a Modern-style file browser that should appease many of you who have Windows 8 tablets who were looking for a way to browse your files without leaving the modern UI.

The application will likely come with Windows 8.1 when it arrives later this year. At this time, we expect a preview build to be released at the upcoming BUILD conference at the end of June and rumors suggest that the platform will hit RTM sometime late in the summer season.

Source: Goput.it

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Dear Windows team, get the Zune team or even the Windows Phone team to design your goddamn UIs. You guys suck at design. Seriously. Metro was beautiful until you guys forked it.

Sincerely, me.

A total mess. Who in their right mind would ever want a file open dialog or file browser to take up a full 27" monitor screen with files puked all over the screen.
When will Microsoft face the fact that you cannot put the same interface on a desktop computer and a tablet touch device.

Users complain that Modern UI doesn't fit desktop and is very clunky.
Microsoft response? Move everything to Modern UI.

I think they are trolling us.

Metro looks beautiful on Windows Phone where in general there's less shades of colour.

On anything else, it looks like a child puked a Rainbow on the screen. Horrible.


I don't want to change my outdated, outmoded workflows.
I want to remain inefficient forever
Leave my desktop alone

This is how I hear the crap comments about new windows, any version.

deadonthefloor said,
I don't want to change my outdated, outmoded workflows.
I want to remain inefficient forever
Leave my desktop alone

This is how I hear the crap comments about new windows, any version.

"I just want a big button that loads Facebook. Nothing else."

This is how I hear the comments from Windows 8 lovers.

I'm sorry but this Modern UI trend is down right ugly. I remember all the good modders here on Neowin back in the Windows XP days who made the OS look ten times better

You are totally right. I mean seriously, who does use touch screens these days??? ARE YOU ****ING SERIOUS ****ING MICRO$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$OFT???!??!?!?? GOD WINDOWS 8 IS SUCH A *********** PIECE OF *********

Looks like a really early build. Icons look ****ty as black on blue, no way they're using the SkyDrive icon, and they'd be stupid not to use Metro icons for files.

Full screen, one folder at a time? Norton Commander could do better in the old days. At least you could see 2 folder at the same time!

YEAH YEAH, it's better for tablet and touch... I KNOW. And the desktop is not dead, .....

Still looks pretty plain and limited to me. Ability to filter would be a nice addition. I hope they would also add "drag and drop" for files/folder between Windows 8 apps or even between app and desktop UI. That would be great for both mouse/keyboard and touch users.

Why does everything the Modern UI have to touch look so anemic and ugly. Eewwwwwww! Sorry, but that's a downgrade in file management.

Consider it a bonus. It's not a Desktop replacement. No other tablet platform provides really serious file management in a Windows environment. This is a convenience for quick and dirty file management for Windows 8 based tablet users. That's my take. I don't see how else you could seriously take it.

I agree. I am shocked why so many people say the new UI looks a million times better than any other Windows OS ever did.....it is quite shocking. People even said they were glad to get rid of 1980's gradients. I am sorry, doesn't Metro / Modern UI look older?

Mr. Dee said,
Why does everything the Modern UI have to touch look so anemic and ugly. Eewwwwwww! Sorry, but that's a downgrade in file management.

it's still an alpha version. I guess it will look better when RTMed.

Metro style doesn't necessarily suck.
I'm still working on my own explorer clone (as a win32 app, not WinRT) with a Metro-style UI. I thinks it looks better than the old desktop explorer that hasn't evolved much since windows 98.

see most recent screenshot here:
https://www.facebook.com/ImmersiveExplorer
http://www.julien-manici.com/immersive_explorer/

I'm quite happy to see MS is working on a native WinRT explorer. I was afraid we would have to wait until win9 for it to happen. So it's great that it will appear in win8.1. I just hope it will look better over time.

MorganX said,
Consider it a bonus. It's not a Desktop replacement. No other tablet platform provides really serious file management in a Windows environment. This is a convenience for quick and dirty file management for Windows 8 based tablet users. That's my take. I don't see how else you could seriously take it.

"Consider it a bonus." "CONSIDER IT A BONUS"??!?!????!?!? Are you ****ing kidding me???? THEY WANT US TO ****ING PAY FOR THE PIECE OF **** THAT WINDOWS 8 IS AND WE HAVE TO CONSIDER THEIR ****ING USELESS CRAPPY FILE MANAGER AS A FREAKING BONUS? YOU GOTTA BE ****ING KIDDIN ME BRO!!!!11111

Lprd2007 said,

"Consider it a bonus." "CONSIDER IT A BONUS"??!?!????!?!? Are you ****ing kidding me???? THEY WANT US TO ****ING PAY FOR THE PIECE OF **** THAT WINDOWS 8 IS AND WE HAVE TO CONSIDER THEIR ****ING USELESS CRAPPY FILE MANAGER AS A FREAKING BONUS? YOU GOTTA BE ****ING KIDDIN ME BRO!!!!11111

I feel your pain through all the screaming (caps). I should have use the /sarcasm switch. But really, file management is for the Desktop Environment which his there. The Modern UI really can't duplicate that type of functionality. You can get a finger friendly subset of functionality for the Modern UI if you happen to be on a tablet and don't want to switch to the Desktop Environment for some modest routine file management. So it's a "bonus" to have it in the Modern UI for convenience with File Explorer still being for serious file management. I don't think they're going to charge for 8.1 so it's basically a added bonus since it's not in Windows 8 now, and will be provided for free in a service pack.

MorganX said,

I feel your pain through all the screaming (caps). I should have use the /sarcasm switch. But really, file management is for the Desktop Environment which his there. The Modern UI really can't duplicate that type of functionality. You can get a finger friendly subset of functionality for the Modern UI if you happen to be on a tablet and don't want to switch to the Desktop Environment for some modest routine file management. So it's a "bonus" to have it in the Modern UI for convenience with File Explorer still being for serious file management. I don't think they're going to charge for 8.1 so it's basically a added bonus since it's not in Windows 8 now, and will be provided for free in a service pack.


Nah, I was just kidding. I love Windows 8, it's the best OS ever. I just get tired of people here complaining. Seriously, if you don't like it, don't use it.

... I think they're serious about getting rid of the Desktop completely. A Modern-UI File Explorer is a big step towards that. I bet Windows 9 doesn't have Desktop.

PUC_Snakeman said,
I bet Windows 9 doesn't have Desktop.

You might very well be right, but in that case, I would bet that Windows 9 is Microsoft's last OS. They're not going to take much of the market away from the already-entrenched tablet and phone OSs, but they will lose most of their desktop customers, who'll simply stop upgrading.

nah, it's too early. The essential productivity apps are still missing from the store. I won't be surprised it will be around 10 or maybe even 11 before they would consider removing desktop entirely or make it an optional feature.

Not really. This provides the most rudimentary file management for touch/tablet Modern UI. Much like third party apps, it doesn't come close to production class file management. It is for basics on Win 8 Tablets and Win RT as well I suppose though I think RT should just go closed, no desktop, no file manager, just pure consumer tablet running tablet touch apps only.

Because they got rid of the command line (they didn't)? What they will get rid of is the dependency of the desktop such that the average user will never need it.

Windows Nashville said,

You might very well be right, but in that case, I would bet that Windows 9 is Microsoft's last OS. They're not going to take much of the market away from the already-entrenched tablet and phone OSs, but they will lose most of their desktop customers, who'll simply stop upgrading.

WINDOZE IS ****ING DEAD!!!!1111 ONLY 0.1% OF PEOPLE USE SUCH A ****ED UP OPERATING SYSTEM WHY THE **** DO YOU GUYS CARE ABOUT SUCH A USELESS PIECE OF **** WINDOWZE IS ****ING DEAD NOW EVERYONE IS USING LINUX AND MAC OS X!!!!1111

Lprd2007 said,

WINDOZE IS ****ING DEAD!!!!1111 ONLY 0.1% OF PEOPLE USE SUCH A ****ED UP OPERATING SYSTEM WHY THE **** DO YOU GUYS CARE ABOUT SUCH A USELESS PIECE OF **** WINDOWZE IS ****ING DEAD NOW EVERYONE IS USING LINUX AND MAC OS X!!!!1111

Glad you agree.

If there's a built-in file manager in the new UI model, I'd really hope it would be extensible by apps to manage their files and content in a tailored manner, much like the file picker (and the desktop file explorer for that matter) are now.

people have released a bunch of really good metro file explorers already, microsoft is releasing the default one, but I've seen some really good ones already.

Why does Microsoft not just make two different operating systems, instead of having this split personality one. ugh Microsoft could have just stuck android in windows if they wanted to go this direction!

And exactly how fleshed out was Windows Explorer on Windows 95 at launch? Even more critical at this point, how fleshed out was it with either the Nashville or even MORE infamous Nashville II leaks (which became the basis of Windows 98)? Excuses and MORE excuses (for those looking for any reason to NOT move). Windows Explorer from Nashville II to Windows 98 actually took a few steps BACKWARD, as Windows Explorer was a more universal shell then - not merely a glorified file browser/manager, as it is today.

Filipe Ribeiro said,
Maybe because it's easier for tablet users? Don't forget Windows 8 is not ONLY for desktop users.

What tablet users? 99.99% of windows users are on non touch PC's. This is the tail wagging the dog at best. Maybe MS should sell a few million tablets first before instituting draconian o/s policies, removing choice and trying to make PC users conform to a default wonky tablet interface.

My PC is not a tablet. My PC is not a phone. Stop trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Edited by MVD, Apr 16 2013, 9:34pm :

Windows Nashville said,
Looks like every "upgrade" in Windows 8.1 will be a dumbed-down, Metro-fied version of the functionality that the legacy Desktop already offered.

And how is that a bad thing?

The current problem with Windows 8 is that tablet/touch users have to switch to the desktop to do many tasks. The desktop is **** for touch. It was one of the major complains about Win 8 on tablets. With this new stuff MS are simply addressing these issues.

The PC Settings screen also has a ton of new options that were previously only found in the desktop Control Panel.

Theres other improvements everyone can benefit from anyway, like lower RAM usage and better battery life.

lctb51 said,
Why does Microsoft not just make two different operating systems, instead of having this split personality one. ugh Microsoft could have just stuck android in windows if they wanted to go this direction!

Convertible tablets. Those guys are gonna want a choice of both file managers. In the case of file management, it looks like the "split personality" isn't going to cause a problem for either side.

lctb51 said,
Why does Microsoft not just make two different operating systems, instead of having this split personality one. ugh Microsoft could have just stuck android in windows if they wanted to go this direction!

I'd much rather have an OS that does everything. When i get a tablet or hybrid i want a full OS, that can also be used well with a keyboard dock, not a dumbed down iOS/Android toy.

Theres nothing else that offers this and eventually you will see Apple and others merge their OS's, it's inevitable. Ubuntu are already doing it.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,

And how is that a bad thing?

The current problem with Windows 8 is that tablet/touch users have to switch to the desktop to do many tasks. The desktop is **** for touch. It was one of the major complains about Win 8 on tablets. With this new stuff MS are simply addressing these issues.

The PC Settings screen also has a ton of new options that were previously only found in the desktop Control Panel.

Theres other improvements everyone can benefit from anyway, like lower RAM usage and better battery life.


That is exactly the problem, microsoft is trying serve many devices all in one os. Windows 8 is turning into this big monster now. This is why ms should have made a tablet specific os and a desktop os! It just will not work well! If you are going two have two different uis crammed into one os, why not then make two different operating systems. Microsoft tablet users will stay in metro most of the time and desktop users will stay in the desktop as well.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,

And how is that a bad thing?

99% of Windows 8 users are on PCs. The tablet stuff is an intrusive annoyance, not an upgrade. Since the tablet/phone market is already lost for MS, deliberately alienating their desktop market is business suicide.

I'm honestly okay with keeping Windows 7 "forever" - as long as I use a PC - and just upgrading the software that I run on it apart from the OS itself. And I suspect that many, many other people are okay with it too.

MVD said,

What tablet users? 99.99% of windows users are on non touch PC's. This is the tail wagging the dog at best. Maybe MS should sell a few million tablets first before instituting draconian o/s policies, removing choice and trying to make PC users conform to a default wonky tablet interface.

My PC is not a tablet. My PC is not a phone. Stop trying to force a square peg into a round hole.

Ahahahaha. Oh. You're serious.

Saying 99.9% of windows users aren't on tablets is a flat out lie. With Windows 8 I've seen a TON of people running on touch-enabled laptops and tablets. Plus all the previous generation tablets/convertibles. There's a good chunk of windows users on touch devices.

The "tablet" stuff as you call it works on both platforms - desktop and touch, just fine. I've been using it on both my Surface and desktop since it was in beta. So have my friends. We have no major complaints and adapted just fine. Maybe you should actually spend more than a look or week with it and actually make a logical argument.

Windows Nashville said,

Since the tablet/phone market is already lost for MS, deliberately alienating their desktop market is business suicide.

And MS ignoring the rise in tablet use is suicide as well. Thats why Windows 8 serves both, businesses can use the desktop features, tablet users can use the touch features. No need to have two OS's and make people buy devices twice.

Windows Nashville said,
Looks like every "upgrade" in Windows 8.1 will be a dumbed-down, Metro-fied version of the functionality that the legacy Desktop already offered.
Exactly. Guess I'll see what happens with 8.2.

efjay said,

Thats why Windows 8 serves both

Windows 8 serves neither. It's been a colossal failure in the consumer market, and most businesses are still in the process of upgrading to Windows 7.

Windows Nashville said,
Looks like every "upgrade" in Windows 8.1 will be a dumbed-down, Metro-fied version of the functionality that the legacy Desktop already offered.
People bitch how MSFT does not separate one UI from the other. MSFT then starts adding tools to be able to separate the two modes of UI which makes people bitch how MSFT is creating two separate modes for the UI.. Make up your minds already..

Filipe Ribeiro said,
Maybe because it's easier for tablet users? Don't forget Windows 8 is not ONLY for desktop users.

I use a Tablet, a Tablet PC and I do not care to have dumb down apps. If I did I would have bought an iPad.ike it or not it seems that whatever gets the Metro treatment offer ONLY an oversimplified experience and this does not necessarily satisfy all users.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,

I'd much rather have an OS that does everything. When i get a tablet or hybrid i want a full OS, that can also be used well with a keyboard dock, not a dumbed down iOS/Android toy.

Exactly. Once again the ill-informed "experts" are here telling Microsoft how they should build operating systems based on their "vast" knowledge banks.

Let's examine the latest brain fart, the "two operating system" approach. I have a Windows 8 tablet that I use as a tablet when I'm on the couch. It works great in Metro as you would expect and all my files are there, synchronised via the network. If I later decide that I want to use it for a bit more advanced stuff and plug in a keyboard and mouse, I can continue to use it as before, but with the full power of your standard Windows desktop environment. I don't have to make compromises with my experience, it just works across both environments on the same device.

What about someone who has a tablet and a docking station? It may sit docked at the office so they use a keyboard and mouse to do intensive work, but they also want to take it out in the field with them for read-only or minor modifications as they roam. When they're finished, they dock the tablet again and continue to work off the device in the desktop environment (Or Metro if they so wish) without a major interruption to their workflow.

They may even have a Metro app or two that simplifies and talks to the infrastructure at work that allows them to do their mobile work with ease and with great productivity, while using a full-fledged desktop application when docked for the more intensive heavy lifting work, of the same system.

Now, Windows 8 allows this transition between the two environments to work seamlessly, so why on earth should they develop two operating systems and force me to choose which one I use? What if I decide I want to use the device docked a bit more than I would be mobile, so I choose the desktop SKU, only to find it's now a royal PITA to do touch stuff when I need the device off-site. Conversely, I choose the touch SKU to bring the power of my tablet to life, but then I don't get the flexibility to fall back to the desktop when I would like to.
What about if I decide that I have legacy applications that I need or want to continue using, that work somewhat well with touch, or good enough that I'm prepared to fall back to the desktop environment and work on them? Should I just cut these applications off because they're part of the desktop SKU and not the touch one?

That is stupid! A touch and non-touch SKU just because you're too stupid to click the desktop tile is an example of pure idiocy and ruins the experience Windows is heading towards. The above sort of scenario isn't hard to conceive and the idea that you need to have two devices to achieve it, when one would more than satisfy the requirements, just to force a separation of boundaries is also quite stupid.

Yes Metro is a bit flaky in parts and could do with some work, and I'm sure Microsoft is doing that, but the hyperbolic nonsense that goes on in this place by people who consider themselves to be technologists is unbelievable.

Windows 8 is the plumbing release for this new platform. They had to build a lot of new backend stuff to support the new environment. That takes time, but now that they've done most of that, they can start prettying up and enhancing the platform they've got, whilst putting *something* out there for people to start purchasing, using and developing apps for. If they waited until they'd done everything, then all they'd be doing is handing their competitors a further lead by creating a massive void where they offer nothing in that space, rather than something that works, but just isn't quite finished.

Windows Nashville said,
Looks like every "upgrade" in Windows 8.1 will be a dumbed-down, Metro-fied version of the functionality that the legacy Desktop already offered.

Windows 8 is not dumbed down, i'd say that previous versions have become too complex.

The new metro file manager does not look too impressive compared to the desktop one! Will the Windows 8.1 update be free or not, does anyone know? I hope they are not moving towards getting rid of the desktop, because to me would be awful!

Edited by Atomic Wanderer Chicken, Apr 16 2013, 8:18pm :

It does not. It looks messy, but that's the Modern UI. For tablet form factors with touch, it looks good enough. There's only so much you can do with this sort of thing in the Modern UI.

I'm curious if the RT version will have the desktop removed. That would be great. Any legacy programs could simply open up in their own environment as apps do. Not sure how they'd pull it off, but for the desktop, it's not time yet... maybe some day

Josh the Nerd said,
We won't know for sure until Microsoft tells us.

He writes similar things in every Win8.1 thread - MS will charge. MS may charge. Will they charge? If they charge for Win8.1 it will be the end of MS. I think he is trying to generate rumors and scare people into thinking they are going to charge.

Izlude said,
I'm curious if the RT version will have the desktop removed. That would be great. Any legacy programs could simply open up in their own environment as apps do. Not sure how they'd pull it off, but for the desktop, it's not time yet... maybe some day

No it wouldn't be great and I doubt they would do it. The desktop in RT is great and was one of the selling points for me.

Do you closely observe what every member of this writes? I was asking a simple question, if Windows 8.1 be free or not. I was previously voicing that what if they did or they may not, but in reality I do not know and I would honestly like to know if Microsoft will charge or not!

lctb51 said,
Do you closely observe what every member of this writes? I was asking a simple question, if Windows 8.1 be free or not. I was previously voicing that what if they did or they may not, but in reality I do not know and I would honestly like to know if Microsoft will charge or not!

I can confirm that it does appear that all you're trying to do is spread hate and BS any chance you get. Glad I am not the only one to notice.

lctb51 said,
Do you closely observe what every member of this writes? I was asking a simple question, if Windows 8.1 be free or not. I was previously voicing that what if they did or they may not, but in reality I do not know and I would honestly like to know if Microsoft will charge or not!

I assume that was directed towards me.

It is called having an attention span longer than 12 seconds. Within the past couple hours, there have been 4 Win8.1 articles (one posted within the past few minutes). In each one you are quick to jump in and comment about the pricing model:

I hope windows 8.1 is free!! Godforbid they charged for it, what a disaster that be!

Windows 8.1 will most likely be a free update, because who would pay for something that's really just an update

Uh, no. Windows 8.1 is just an update, therefore it will most likely be free.

Imagine the backlash if Microsoft really did charge for the the 8.1 update!

Will the Windows 8.1 update be free or not, does anyone know?

So it will be free, but may not, it should be, it may not be, I don't know if it is free. Those are the quotes about price you made within the past couple hours, if anyone pays attention, it is not hard to recognize the pattern. But the repeated changing of the direction on price and making it an issue, it sounds like you are trying to create an issue and FUD that Microsoft may charge for it. Nobody knows but Microsoft, and the price certainly has not not been announced being that Microsoft has not yet announced Blue/8.1. They are not going to say "The product that you do not know about that we will be releasing in an indefinite amount of time in the future will be priced at $x" where x could be 0 or 1 billion.

lctb51 said
The new metro file manager does not look too impressive compared to the desktop one!
It'll probably get improved upon a lot. I don't find it all too spectacular, but I do believe it'll get better.

lctb51 said
I hope they are not moving towards getting rid of the desktop, because to me would be awful!
I personally don't think they'll be getting rid of the desktop anytime soon. They'd be really burning their own bridges by doing something like that.