It's worth sayin that the Windows 7 Explorer UI had gotten minimal to the point where it wasn't simple anymore. But pulling a complete 180 and making the menu bar items permanently visible, with icons sprawled all over the place, isn't exactly the best solution either.
Microsoft says they're reimagining with Windows 8 and the Explorer UI. Yet, beyond the ribbon of commands, the fundamental act of navigating in explorer is unchanged. And though these icons are plastered across the top of the Explorer window, there are still more dropdown menus, secondary tabs and scroll boxes. Blah.
It's a kitchen sink mentality, which is always nice in theory. But for people who aren't power users, this seems a bit overwhelming (my immediate, subconscious reaction erred this way everytime I looked at the images or watched the video).
And Microsoft can point to usage data all they want (which they do), but it shouldn't be used to dictate design. It should be used to support the gut instincts that make design human. And that's not to say there aren't some good ideas at play here. There are. They just need to be a bit more elegant. [MSDN]