Windows 8 for Tablet Emphasizes Tiles and Multitasking

Windows

Microsoft previewed its next generation of Windows at the Build conferences yesterday with special emphasis on the new operating system's tablet capabilities.

As the video here illustrates, Microsoft is actually building Win 8 to maintain the same look and feel across desktop and devices. Win 8 running on tablets is essentially Win 8 as it appears on the desktop -- but with touch functionality. In fact, from what we have seen, it looks as if the mobile interface world has deeply influenced the design of Microsoft's next-gen OS.

Win 8 is challenging some iPad paradigms by emphasizing widget-like "tiles" over icons. Much like the functionality of Windows Phone 7, the tile interface surfaces updates like weather, headlines, social network status, etc. to the home display screen without having to open an icon. Likewise, the tablet implementation emphasizes multitasking.

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Microsoft features the ways in which the user can lean-back and watch videos or consult any app while still being able to call up a sidebar with updates from other content. A "snap" features lets you run two apps concurrently on the same screen.

The Win 8 tablet interface adds other UI niceties, such as thumb-oriented split keyboards and quick flipping across all open apps. The company is making the Win 8 pre-release builds available to select developers on a Samsung tablet.

Microsoft also demonstrated a windows app store that allows developers to submit apps for approval and posting, set their own price, etc.

Windows 8 is likely more than a year away from release. A more detailed slideshow of key tablet features in Win 8 is available at Business Insider.

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