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Windows 8's traditional desktop to be a separate app, the touch-optimized Metro style UI takes over

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Windows 8's traditional desktop to be a separate app, the touch-optimized Metro style UI takes over
Microsoft announced at its Windows 8 blog that the tile-based Metro UI desktop would be a permanent feature, and the traditional Windows 8 desktop code won't even be loaded in the background, unless you call it as a separate app.

Windows's 8's default Metro style UI

Windows's 8's default Metro style UI

The software giant might have a winner on its hands with this approach. If you turn on the screen only to do simple tasks like browsing, chatting or working up your social networks, you will be greeted with the touch-optimized Metro style UI, whose Live Tiles are brimming with info you can gather at a glance.

The traditional Windows desktop UI can be called as a separate app

The traditional Windows desktop UI can be called as a separate app

If, however, you need to run one of the hundreds of thousands of PC applications that have been designed with the traditional Windows desktop in mind, you can call it up, and it will load as a separate app. Otherwise no Windows 8 desktop code will be loaded to save on memory and battery. Pretty neat approach, and Microsoft also revealed some changes in the Windows Explorer navigation interface.

Everything will be Ribbon-ized now, like in Office, with big fat icons, which will be more finger-friendly than what we have now in Windows 7, so even if you switch to the traditional desktop view, the interface will be more touchscreen-friendly now, despite that it will work well with a keyboard and a mouse as until now.

Microsoft will unveil much more about how deep the Metro style UI goes at its BUILD conference September 13-16, which is dedicated to the Windows 8 era. Now, where are those quad-core Windows 8 tablets?

source: Microsoft

29 Comments
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posted on 01 Sep 2011, 04:35 1

1. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


Oh no !
Is use Windows 7 at work, and from what i have seen Windows 8 will not do it where i work...
Maybe we should start using linux instead...Wait, the product we are selling needs Windows so i don't really know what to do.
Just hope Windows 8 is better than what i have seen.
For a normal consumer Windows 8 is better, but for businesses Windows 7 is better.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 04:37 9

3. ilia1986 (unregistered)


why not, peter? Windows 8 = windows 7 with many optimizations and a touch-friendly widget interface for tablets.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 05:33 2

18. snowgator (Posts: 3159; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Relax, Peter. The desktop experience with W8 will be much more smooth and polished than your experience with the Omnia at the soft start-up of WP7 was. It will not make your life any harder for you. I am truly sorry your time with WP7 left such a bad taste in your mouth. Hope Windows 8 improves your opinion of it.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 05:44 2

20. Peterlfromsweden (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


Let's see what happens with windows 8 : )

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 18:33 2

41. HeyBadaBadaSwingBadaBada (Posts: 10; Member since: 30 Aug 2011)


Only great things :)

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 08:52 2

33. kainy (Posts: 165; Member since: 10 Aug 2011)


Dude ... rly? Didn't you learn anything or you just like to spam ... they said that you can use only Metro style if you want, and if you don't like it you can use the old school Win7 underneath the Metro UI... Is it that hard to understand?!

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 04:36 1

2. ilia1986 (unregistered)


Exccccellent. Can't wait for it to become the standard in the industry. This is the piece of software that will ensure that Tablets are PCs of the future.

posted on 10 Jan 2012, 08:02

43. Dubya (Posts: 1; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)


Yeah good luck trying to use a tablet for work! Just not practical!

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 05:27 4

17. snowgator (Posts: 3159; Member since: 19 Jan 2011)


Looking like a winner!! Next evolution will be to allow pictures and graphics to allow for more customization. Betting Window 8 will allow that. Also will help push WP devices as user friendly experiences lead users to be more open to the phones. Microsoft is going one step at a time here. A mistake in todays mobile is more deadly than a delay. Really impressed with their patience.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 05:40 1

19. pongkie (Posts: 492; Member since: 20 Aug 2011)


too bad it's a year away and apple and android is teasing me like their doing lap dances. MS is too slowwwwwwwwwwww

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 06:13 2

21. surethom1 (Posts: 3; Member since: 01 May 2009)


The Tiles are just a wast of screen real estate, most of the tiles are just way to big, if they have noting to display like launching internet explorer or the app store, then they need to be 2 times smaller, hows can you have hundereds of apps & programs with such massive tiles.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 06:46 4

25. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


the tiles are "live" they display information in real time. Not every app you have has to be a tile. you have a choice to set it up that way. all the "other" apps that you dont have as a live tile are in a scrolling list.


totally agree with illia and snowgator.

unless something drastically changes in the android/apple tablet markets I'll probably end up buying a windows tablet if they are any good. For school that extra true PC functionality is a must. Todays tablets a great but they are more toys than power tools. If they do it right, i can see windows8 tablets taking a large chunk of the market. Schools and businesses will buy them by the boatload over ipads n android tablets for the same reasons I probably will.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 06:23 2

22. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)


Did microsoft change the managment or something, because they're coming up with some good stuff lately. They are taking the right path.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 06:27 1

23. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


Yeah, it's better for consumers, but not for business use.
Winmo 6 was great for business, but not so good for consumers. Windows 7 is great for business but not so good for consumers.
On the other hand WP7 and Windows 8 seem to be designed for consumers, not businesses...

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 06:44 3

24. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)


peter Microsoft did not say that Windows 8 would lack any feature from Windows 7, you still can do everything you do on Windows 7 on Windows 8 as well. But even better.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 06:48 1

26. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


peter,

windows 8 is a tablet experience. its a finger friendly UI over what is basically windows7 underneath. It is a full functional tablet that is supposed to be backwards compatatible with most all current windows PC programs. How is that not the best of both worlds?

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 07:07 2

27. PeterIfromsweden (Posts: 1230; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)


I do think Windows 8 as tablet experinece woul be great (but bada of course would be my favourite), but i'm talking from a business point of wiew.
anyway, i can't say to much before i see a video of it and acutally try it myself.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 07:15

28. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


Actually not much. Only PC version will be backwards compatible with other windows apps. Its probably related with processor and that regular windows apps are made more likely to use the most resources to bring the good experience, so taking all those into a device that's less able might cause a serious resource drain and a less deficiency. Devs will need to make their apps more resource friendly, this might as well encourage them to develop for Android and ios as well

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 08:12

29. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


well, this thing is supposed to be a quad core processor :)

Id guess that the average specs of a windows8 professional style tablet are going to be very high compared to other tablets for the reasons u just mentioned proto.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 08:35

30. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


it doesn't have to do with the amount of cores but for the possible architecture (unless they use regular processor but those consume a lot of energy)

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 08:40

32. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


article here:
http://www.phonearena.com/news/Windows-8-on-ARM-chipsets-might-not-support-legacy-programs-says-Intel-chief_id18913

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 08:53

34. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


oh i remember that. But im hoping its as easy as a program update from the developers to make it compatable. I wouldnt expect anything crazy for compatibility at first but I'm hoping within the year after launch that the major programs and such are updated to be compatable. Im not knowledgeable enough about driver programing to know how easy or hard it might be, but I can always hope.

Portal2 and Starcraft2 on a windows8 tablet.. thats the goal... err.. i mean school work.. lol

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 12:59

39. protozeloz (Posts: 5326; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)


well it might be as easy as adapting your app to be 64 bit optimized.... (hope you get the punch line) if they develop their apps for tablet use they might also make a version for other popular mobile OS's but I think pc devs are quite scared of the mobile market.... i mean you check how much they guys that made winrar chargehttp://www.rarlab.com/shop2rarlab-whpanda.php?prod=winrar&x-source=winraronly

and to think a mobile OS will have des-compressor and compressor app for lower than a dollar might sound outstanding to them, even if that dollar dev is making more money.

I personally loved MS office (had it on linux and windows :D ) but after seeing what quick office can do for 20 bux and that is exactly what I use office for I was sold!, same with dolphin vs Firefox, will see beefier games on other platforms and maybe more of your favorite programs come to the mobile platform of your liking.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 08:39 1

31. bluechrism (unregistered)


Microsoft typically do well with developers, but i'm still not sure I want Visual Studio with touch friendly icons and menus. Will be interesting though. I wonder if there will better dual screen support and if you can have Metro on one screen and the Windows 7 app on another.

As far as the tiles go, one thing I am certain of, I would really like control over resolution or things like the number of tiles to display. Especially if i'm not on a tablet, and even if i were, if i had a 10" vs a 7", i might want more information visible on the one with the bigger screen, not just the same info but bigger.

Will be interesting to finds out how competing browsers, as well as music and media players are able to integrate with the new UI. If they are not, I see another round of antitrust suits going on, esp in Europe.

Lastly, touch friendly UI is nice, and i can see mice going away gradually as both PC monitors, as well as laptops and netbooks join the touch revolution. I still don't feel any need for a tablet though, and don't see any reason to really get one vs a Netbook/Laptop, and to some extent, my smartphone, unless I was a frequent traveller (Engadget had a great article about this a week ago). Touchscreen keyboards have no tactile feedback and you have to look at what you type, and lose screen real estate. Nice for browsing and media consumption, but how productive can you really be? MS should make sure their new OS remains a hub for productivity as well as media.

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 09:46 1

36. Daniel2324 (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


buy a transformer :D

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 09:44 1

35. Daniel2324 (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


buy a transformer :D

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 11:02

37. Mobile-X-Pert (Posts: 565; Member since: 20 Dec 2010)


which one?? Optimus prime or Megatron? lol

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 14:17

40. Daniel2324 (Posts: 8; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)


optimus prime, I guess? :D

posted on 01 Sep 2011, 11:31

38. Jasneet (unregistered)


Win 8 tab and Nexus prime makes a perfect combination for me...I am saving for holidays

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