Ilana Smith, a lead program manager on Microsoft's Engineering System team, has posted an article on MSDN explaining some of tweaks that have been made in Windows Explorer for the upcoming Windows 8 public beta in February. There are certainly those who have not taken well to the new ribbon interface, and to those opponents Smith says in no uncertain terms that they'll be sticking with the design. For those who don't approve, she reminds them "that there are third-party tools available" that can satisfy hardcore users.

While the ribbon is here to stay, Smith says that they are reading commenter feedback (she says they referenced over 2000 comments) and that they do make a difference — she goes as far to site specific commenter's issues that they've addressed. Speaking of the Windows Explorer ribbon, Smith says that through their research they've decided to keep the interface minimized by default, which we think is a good decision to help keep the experience less cluttered. They've also added hotkey tooltips when you hover over an item, and now more Windows Explorer options are going be be included in the "Sync your settings" tool, which keeps settings the same across multiple PCs.

There are lots of other little changes, too, that Microsoft says are in response to commenter requests. The file conflict dialog which lets you compare files with the same name now clearly shows whether the two files have the same date modified and size, and it can automatically skip files that do match up. One change that we're pretty excited about is that you can now resume a copy or move operation after your computer goes to sleep or is shut down. And, finally, the Windows 7 bug that made working through folder hierarchies a pain has been fixed up. There a few more minor updates highlighted in the post, so check out the source link below if you want to hear a bit more about the Windows 8 public beta.