I have seen a handful of file browsers touting themselves as Windows Explorer alternatives, but none of them has the right balance of simplicity and functionality. I prefer the simple ones which is why tools like Total Commander, which is perhaps one of the most beloved file browser, fail to impress me.
Not long ago I discovered Explorer++ which came close to Windows Explorer in terms of looks yet was far above in terms of features. I suggest you take a look at it, if you haven’t already. Recently, another new Windows Explorer alternative got released. BExplorer (Better Explorer), which is still in the Alpha stage, shows a lot of promise.
BExplorer is essentially Windows Explorer housed under a sort of frame. This “frame” has support for tabs allowing you to open multiple Windows Explorer instances under a single BExplorer window. Because BExplorer uses Windows Explorer to provide file browsing abilities, you don’t actually have to switch file browser. All your libraries and any customization you have applied to Windows Explorer are available from within BExplorer.
As I have mentioned, the project is in early alpha. Tab functionality and glassy view are the only implemented feature at the time of this writing. (If you wish to keep track of new releases of this software, you can subscribe to it’s RSS feed)
Other proposed features and goals of this project are:
– Adding tab functionality together with use of standard explorer browser control
– Adding additional toolbars with more features like:
– Changing Library icons
– File operation with files and folders
– Synchronized command prompt
– Change of folder icons
– Extended Jump list support (Windows 7)
– Double panel explorer
– Extended search like extended search pane in Vista (Windows 7)
– Glassy view
BExplorer is designed to work on Windows 7 but should work on Vista too.