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Microsoft revamps the Windows 8 interface with touch in mind, borrows heavily from WP7

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Microsoft revamps the Windows 8 interface with touch in mind, borrows heavily from WP7
Microsoft previewed the next version of its operating system, codenamed Windows 8 for now, both at the D9 conference, and at the Computex 2011 expo in Taiwan, as promised.

We were more interested in the tablet user interface of Windows 8, but it turned out that there really won't be much distinction, because the new Live tile-based interface in the Metro UI style of Windows Phone 7 will seemingly be as standard for server PCs, as for the smallest slate. 

Presumably you would be able to toggle this finger-friendly interface for the sake of compatibility with programs made for Windows 7. In other words, legacy apps, like Photoshop, will just be launching with their mouse-friendly menus, as exemplified by Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky firing up Outlook, which came on as you know it. Here's Microsoft's list of new features in the interface:

•    Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
•    Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
•    Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
•    Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
•    Web-connected and Web-powered apps built using HTML5 and JavaScript that have access to the full power of the PC.
•    Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.

Notice how Microsoft directly talks about apps, not programs, and HTML5 ones that you run directly in the browser? Sign of the times. Speaking of compatibility, you'll be able to run each and every program made for Windows despite the dazzling interface, but only on x86-based chipsets, like Intel or AMD. On ARM-based processors, Windows 8 will most likely only include support for apps that are made for it from the ground-up, since emulating would be a hurdle.  ARM-based devices, including a notebook running NVIDIA's quad-core Kal-El chipset, were demonstrated running Win 8. Deeper details about the OS should be disclosed mid-September, at the BUILD conference.

With that out of the way, Windows 8 will be the biggest revamp since Win 95: "The user interface and new apps will work with or without a keyboard and mouse on a broad range of screen sizes and pixel densities, from small slates to laptops, desktops, all-in-ones, and even classroom-sized displays.", says Microsoft. With that said, Redmond is placing restrictions on the type of hardware to run the new operating system. Since touch will be deeply integrated now, not a layer, there are some requirements towards touchscreens - at minimum they should have 1024x768 pixels of resolution, with the best starting point being 1366x768.

Redmond also noted the instant-on feature, which hibernates the operating system immediately and then seamlessly fires it back up, just as we would expect on a tablet. Cold boot should take about six seconds with SSD. Upon installing, Windows 8 recognizes the underlying hardware, and scale accordingly, including that Live tile-based, adjustable interface. Have a look at what's in store with Windows 8 in the video below.

source: Microsoft (interface & hardware)

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posted on 02 Jun 2011, 03:49 2

1. daniel_bargs (Posts: 325; Member since: 27 Nov 2010)

OMG. never minded Microsoft when it comes to tablet because Android and iOS seems to dominate the market but upon seeing this.... this is the real deal!!! it seems more capable than Honeycomb and iOS! what a great way of multitasking. i think this OS is a system hog because of the very great features. 1 core processor cant run this in a tablet. ive waited for dual core tabs to come and now they are in market but upon seeing this... i think i should wait again and agaiN!! i want to have a tablet since last year but upon seeing this... i think i should wait again for 1 to 2 years. hahah

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 20:59

18. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)

i agree... wow now this is where the windows phone design really looks nice... but i am not sure this interface is very practical on a desktop... i wud rather see a more updated desktop ui as well... this is basically just an app launcher... and also idk can tablets (which this seems obviously based for) run the entire windows 7 ui? it seems necessary but it doesnt seem practical...

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 04:03

2. OllielovesAndriod (Posts: 22; Member since: 07 May 2011)

It all looks very shmancy fancy but i think
If it wants overtake ios and andriod it needs to be a bit less shmancy fancy and more productive. But its still awsome. What will get it going is office on tablets!

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 14:43

15. lovebuzz (Posts: 76; Member since: 21 Oct 2009)

We don't know how productive it will be just yet..... But if it'll run ALL of the same programs as Windows 7....I dont know how much more productive you want it to be?

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 04:27 1

3. dara (unregistered)

i would never use windows 8 phone..because it simply LOOKS INCREDIBLY, UNBEARABLY BORING AND NON-CREATIVE.
iIt's basically a design without a design!
I'll rather take the most ambitious android yet- the sweet ice cream sandwich, thank you

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 14:44 1

16. lovebuzz (Posts: 76; Member since: 21 Oct 2009)

Your welcome!!
Now begone!

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 07:09

5. surethom (Posts: 957; Member since: 04 Mar 2009)

Windows Phone 7 is the worse interface for a tablet some of the tiles are way to big & use to much of the interface, on the touch interface where are the gadgets.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 09:19

6. Shafeer (Posts: 79; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)

Looks amazing. Thats all I can say.

BUT how will it be on normal Keyboard and Mouse laptops? I will try it out before getting it.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 09:23

7. NMexpo (unregistered)

Wow, I never cared about the next version of Windows but this is definitely something to get excited about! Can't wait for 2012

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 09:40

8. ralphyd (Posts: 10; Member since: 24 May 2011)

Wow this actually looks really impressive. This is a huge step in the right direction for the windows os. If this can be used on a tablet as they stated then I think it is the tablet to beat. At least for me having the full version of Microsoft office on a tablet would be a HUGE deal for me. A very well thought out office suite is something I feel android is sorely missing.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 09:52 4

9. remixfa (Posts: 14605; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)

its big, its colorful, its easy. thats how its meant to be. wanna talk about boring? how about that iphone and its endless list of app icons and nothing else. at least you can customize this a bit.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 10:06 3

10. luis_lopez_351 (Posts: 951; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)

They said Windows would never catch up to IOS or Android... They were wrong. Now im kinda interested. Its stable as ios and is less restrictive than ios.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 11:29

12. jake (unregistered)

AWESOME .. this O.S will definitely dominates the race between android and iOS, even though it looks like boring User interface or whatever. the uniqueness and speed of the system will surely the way and the key to success of this operating system.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 12:55

13. ca2l3vin (Posts: 22; Member since: 12 Aug 2009)

the best thing to me is the compatibility with windows 7 programs/applications. talk about your "app store" just having that ability alone would be reason to get this on a tablet...not to mention from the looks of it true multitasking combined with a full file manager...I mean I can go on but its obvious this is windows with a touch interface placed on it and thats what I really want in a tablet. The ultimate productivity tool.

posted on 02 Jun 2011, 14:46

17. lovebuzz (Posts: 76; Member since: 21 Oct 2009)

It's nice to see them setting hardware requirements for their system. That was always the bane of PC owners....sh*tty hardware!!!

posted on 03 Jun 2011, 03:29 1

19. vishu9 (Posts: 252; Member since: 03 Mar 2011)


posted on 06 Jun 2011, 19:05

20. Pirate Ninja (unregistered)

W.O.W.! x 2

posted on 15 Jun 2011, 23:39

21. Lets be honest (unregistered)

this is just a glorified application launcher... how are you people even managing to excite yourselves over this??

posted on 29 Jun 2011, 02:59

22. Pat0! (unregistered)

I will only buy it if it has the capability to use the office suite to its full, no cut down versions please. If it has that I will buy the Asus Transformer 2... the perfect Uni laptop/tablet.

posted on 30 Aug 2011, 16:30

23. Twan (unregistered)

It looks really awesome and promissing hopefully we'll get some apps now so it will be worth it =D

posted on 14 Sep 2011, 15:01

24. hooher tod (unregistered)

Yes there should realize the reader to RSS my feed to RSS commentary, quite simply

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