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Microsoft Turns Windows Explorer into Utter Chaos

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SHOT TO RIBBONS
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Does anyone dare to look at their parents' computers anymore?

Who has the nerve to peek at the screen-filled grid of desktop icons, the Outlook inbox with emails from '98, the various malware slowing the system to a crawl?

And God forbid you open their default web browser -- Internet Explorer 7 or below -- only to find a multitude of Navigation Toolbars taking up 40% of the screen's real estate. "I'd love to get rid of them," they claim, "but I don't know how."

It's a grim, all-too-familiar scenario. Fortunately, there are fixes to that clutter. A quick uninstall here, an icon folder collection there, followed by a system-wide run of Ad-Aware, and we're back in business.

However, for the layout of Windows Explorer 8, there is no such fix.

On its official Windows 8 engineering blog, Microsoft gave a sneak peek at the UI for Windows Explorer 8 -- the next iteration of its file manager. And it's, well, it's utter chaos.


Relying on the controversial ribbon interface made famous in Office 2007, Redmond threw almost every function in Explorer onto the toolbar and gave it a pretty sizable button. There's no rhyme or reason for its arrangement, why certain buttons are larger than others, the justification for horizontal or vertical alignment, etc.

It's just... a mess.

TechCrunch's MG Siegler believes Microsoft's blog post was a way of "testing the waters" and, in a way, crowd-sourcing the upcoming UI. But by and large, people despise the look. Siegler ran a poll -- 47% said it was "awful," and 26% said it was "the worst thing [they've] ever seen."

Surprisingly enough, Siegler also received some flak from readers for his own criticism of the layout and his unfavorable comparison to Apple's OS X file manager, Finder. Yes, he's an admitted Apple apologist with his own -- sometimes arrogant -- prejudices when it comes to Apple and Windows UI.

But take a look at that toolbar ribbon.

Is he wrong?

(See also: Video: Google Creates the Perfect Boyfriend and Apple Keeps iTunes Match from Falling Short)

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