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Microsoft Highlights Windows 8 Copy Feature

Microsoft on Wednesday showed off a new user interface for copying files in Windows 8.

The feature allows users to manage "copy jobs" via a single dialog box, which is capable of displaying information and handling multiple copy operations at the same time. Copy progress, bandwidth and time-to-completion details are illustrated in the dialog box. A demo of the new feature is shown at the "building Windows 8" blog.

Windows 8 will better handle high-volume copy jobs compared with the current Explorer command system found in Windows 7. Currently, users moving big files might prefer third-party add-ons for those tasks, such as using Copy Handler, FastCopy or TeraCopy products. Microsoft's new Windows 8 copy-and-move capabilities aren't "aiming to match the feature sets of these add-ons," explained Alex Simons, director of program management on the Windows engineering team, in the blog post.

Copying can be paused by users if they want to prioritize a job. Currently, paused processes are highlighted in yellow, but Simons said that Microsoft hasn't finalized the color scheme yet.



Office Web Apps[Click on image for larger view.]
Windows 8 copy dialog box.

There's also an overwrite warning feature that will compare source and destination files within the same dialog box. Users can then decide if they want to copy and replace, abandon the copying process or opt to insert another versioned copy of the file into a folder.

On top of this advanced copying process, higher transfer rates will be enabled on external drives by the time Windows 8 makes its appearance on devices in around mid-2012 or 2013. That's because Windows 8 will be designed to support USB 3.0, which is expected to enable external data transfers at up to 4.7 Gbps, or 10 times the current USB 2.0 standard's speed.

One commenter in the building Windows 8 blog noted that the new copy dialog box does not appear touch friendly. Microsoft has projected that Windows 8 will have a touch screen much like Windows Phone 7's tile-based user interface, but Windows 8 is also expected to support a more classic Windows menu system.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Fri, Sep 23, 2011 Marc darragh Ireland

I can see this being a big improvement. Love the new visual interface and the ability to pause or totally cancel the file transfer. Would be nice to see a file and folder transfer history included like the way microsoft have now included in IE9.

Wed, Sep 7, 2011 Tony Gore

Nice feature - a big problem I have with some users is they accidentally drag and drop files/folders and then can't find them any more. Improving the move/copy has a chance of reducing this problem. These are the sorts of little improvements that make things better.

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