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Redesign of Windows File Explorer is rumoured to integrate with Microsoft 365 and OneDrive

According to a report from Windows Central, Microsoft is currently working on an update to the File Explorer programme for Windows 11. According to reports, the upcoming version of Explorer will include a new interface that is optimised for touch devices, enhanced support for viewing photos with bigger previews, the ability to tag files with keywords and colours, and deeper connection with Microsoft 365 and OneDrive.

A prototype of the revamped user interface shows a new “recommended” section of files, in addition to the existing areas for pinned and recent files, with large previews of various documents and information about where the files are located (OneDrive, SharePoint, and the local Downloads folder are all listed) and recent updates to the files. The revamped design will also have “more contemporary coding” at its core.

According to the article, Microsoft hopes to roll out the updated version of Explorer by the end of 2016. In the Windows 11 era, Microsoft has chosen a “whenever they’re ready” approach to releasing new Windows features, so it might be released at any moment, or never. It could be part of this year’s yearly Windows update in the autumn.

Since the debut of Windows 11, Explorer has received two updates. The most recent one, published shortly after the release of the Windows 11 2022 Update, gave Explorer a tabbed interface and a few other improvements. The app also got a makeover in the first edition of Windows 11, ditching the Windows 8-era ribbon UI in favour of a more consistent aesthetic with the rest of the operating system.

Several years after the Internet Explorer antitrust lawsuit was settled, Microsoft’s efforts to integrate and package its numerous services continue to sometimes attract the attention of government authorities. EU authorities are reportedly considering opening an antitrust probe into the firm because of the way Microsoft has packaged Microsoft Teams with the suite of productivity programmes previously known as Office, according to a story from Politico earlier this week. The authorities could also take issue with a version of Explorer that promotes Microsoft’s cloud storage service OneDrive and productivity suite Microsoft 365 in the same way.