Windows 8 comes with the Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer. The Ribbon UI was first introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 and now it is the default menu structure of all Microsoft applications except Internet Explorer. Windows 8 Explorer makes it easier for us to perform our tasks and is compatible with the tablets. It is designed to run on tablets which means more ease of use and visual appeal.
Windows Explorer has remained almost the same throughout the history of Windows development. But in Windows 8, it has taken a positive visual appeal by adding a Ribbon bar instead of the traditional menus.
Windows 8 Explorer builds on the foundations of Ribbon UI which was introduced in Microsoft Office 2007. If you are using Office 2007 or Office 2007 and like the new interface, you will definitely love the same user interface in Windows Explorer.
While Windows 7 does not include the Ribbon UI in Windows Explorer by default, BExplorer (Better Explorer) attempts to integrate the same Ribbon UI in the Explorer interface.
BExplorer is a file manager and needs to operate separately than Windows Explorer. You will need to get used to opening BExplorer for managing files and folders.
When you start BExplorer, it will look very similar to Windows Explorer except for the top part which is the Ribbon UI.
There are two tabs in the BExplorer ribbon. The Home tab contains tools for all the basic operations for the managing files and folders like copying, deleting, renaming and moving files, copying file path and opening file and folder properties.
The View tab lets you customize the appearance of BExplorer window like sorting of files, viewing files as icons or lists and grouping by date, size, name and type.
As the ribbon UI takes a lot of screen space, you can easily minimize it using the up arrow button at the top right of BExplorer window.
The File menu (green button on the top left of BExplorer window) is still blank and needs to be worked on. Hopefull it will be in a working condition in the next releases of BExplorer.
Another feature that I found out is not functioning is the search feature. The search dialog box will return nothing if you want to search for anything. These errors should be corrected as soon as possible to make BExplorer a better alternative to Windows Explorer. But right now BExplorer is still in its initial stages and needs a lot of work. Overall it’s a nice utility to have for occasional usage.
Update: Better Explorer has been updated and now it has its own domain instead of hosting at Codeplex. We have updated the links appropriately.