I’ve recently found this extremely enlightening blog-post with a presentation of how the Office 2007 user-interface, called Ribbon, was born. It tells the story of the Office interface, how it was getting to bloated and how the office team had developed, tested new ideas until the final product.
The story of the Ribbon on http://blogs.msdn.com/jensenh
The qttabbar-plug-in activates tabs on the windows explorer. It works on XP with .NET 2.0 and Vista. It not only activates tabs, it also extends the tool-tip on pictures, videos etc so that you see it without opening it. As well it adds an additional navigation. You can open “menu-navigation” on every folder. There are some other small improvements and plug-ins. Its has still various flaws, like that it sometimes doesn’t show icons properly, and the “menu-navigation” only works on the main-panel. But it seems to be pretty stable. I didn’t had any explorer-crashes because of it.