Windows 8 is coming in a couple of months and although it brings a plethora of new settings, styles, tweaks and visual changes, we can safely assume that the Metro style (albeit some would want to get rid of it) with its uniquely tailored Start interface is the most noteworthy feature. In order to make the transition more pleasant, from the classic Windows 7-ish environment with the usual style of browsing through elements and towards a touch-based experience, Microsoft has opted to keep both means of navigation: using a keyboard plus a mouse, or be guided by gestures.

Immersive Explorer: Metro-style navigator

Some users have greeted this transition, or rather else called evolution, as a painful deficit towards the whole Windows experience. On the other hand, others have seen it as something pleasant and simplifying, and I must admit that I am part of the last group. Now, coming straight from Italia, the place where all the Windows 8 action takes place, a new theme called Immersive Explorer 0.1 allows owners to replace the ‘enhanced’ Explorer from the upcoming OS with a customized version, one that greatly borrows the Metro UI appearance.

In a few words, the Immersive Explorer is an alternative to the default file explorer found in Windows 8: Windows Explorer. This is not a Metro application, but once it’s installed on the computer, it will offer a tiled-based interface and desktop features just like the ones found in Metro UI. We are talking here about scroll-to-zoom and keyboard navigation, implemented with the use of Win32/.NET/WPF.

What will the user be experiencing?

The Immersive interface does for the explorer panel the same thing that Metro UI does for the Start menu: it immerses the user and simplifies the navigation experience, by presenting common folders, profiles, drives and most of the options currently present in Windows Explorer, as tiles. The software currently supports simple actions as:

  • cut
  • copy
  • paste
  • renaming
  • viewing properties
  • creating new folders
  • viewing images in a built-in photo application


The downsides of the software is its early stage of development, this version actually being the first beta with programmers promising that once a week, updates will follow. In these updates, Julien Manici, the designer of the program, speaks about integrating touch features and more complex actions, such as:

  • caching and performance improvements
  • audio & video playback
  • picture manipulation and plenty more

Those wishing to install the tweak can do so by following the link below, if they have a Windows 8 or Windows 7 (yes, it works even with 7) running machine, an Intel Core 2 Duo processor, at least 1 GB of RAM and .NET  Framework 4.0 installed.

[Via] Julien Manici

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Feature Writer

Alex holds an engineering degree in Telecommunications and has been covering technology as a writer since 2009. Customization is his middle name and he doesn’t like to own stock model gadgets. When he’s away from the keyboard, simpler things like hiking, mountain climbing and having a cold drink make his day.