File management within the Metro interface was arguably an area that could have used more polish in the vanilla version of Windows 8. Microsoft probably left the door open for third party developers to unleash their creativity.
And the result is that there are several quality file management apps available on the Windows Store.
But according to reports, the software titan will finally bundle a Metro file manager in Windows 8.1 that will allow users to control locally stored data as well as files saved in the cloud.
Details on this particular application have been somewhat scarce, but it appears that the preview version of the upcoming operating system will provide us our first look at what this app entails. A recently leaked Windows 8.1 Preview Q&A provides us with more details.
The built-in SkyDrive app will serve as both a client for the cloud storage service, but double up as a Metro file manager in the operating system.
As Microsoft explains in the leaked documentation:
“These small files look like the full file and have thumbnails and metadata, but they take a tiny fraction of the disk pace of the full file.”
The SkyDrive app will not sync all SkyDrive files to the PC, but instead download placeholders to let users quickly access them.
Once a user opens a placeholder, the application automatically downloads the full file in the background and displays it. This saves space on the disk. Additionally, users can make selected files available in offline mode — meaning they can be accessed without an Internet connection.
We should have more information on how this app handles the files stored locally in a computer or device when the preview version of Windows 8.1 makes its official debut in just a couple of days.