Optimizing for both landscape and portrait

As we have demonstrated Windows 8 in many forums, we've tended to use landscape orientation (widescreen) quite a bit. Primarily that's because often we're projecting, and it makes for a better experience that way. Another reason is that many of the early devices (such as the Samsung tablet issued at //build/ with Windows Developer Preview) are widescreen, which is ideal for showing side-by-side applications using the new Snap feature, and that tends to work well in landscape. We have done a ton of work to enable a fast and fluid experience in rotating the screen, and a great experience for people who prefer the portrait orientation, and as you will read, this is heavily influenced by our experience studying what factors contribute to a preference in either orientation. We even did work on our Visual Studio and Expressions tools to make sure developers have great tools support for building applications that work well in both orientations. David Washington on our user experience team authored this post on landscape and portrait screens in Windows 8. He also offers session APP-207T from //build/. --Steven

A Windows 8 PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from small, touch-only tablets to laptops and desktops. While reimagining Windows 8, we designed it to deliver a great experience regardless of the form factor or screen orientation. Tablet devices allow for ergonomic flexibility, allowing you to hold the device in whichever orientation is most comfortable to you and best suits your content.

One of the best things about a tablet is that you can hold it in your hands. It’s personal. Whether you’re reading the Sunday newspaper or browsing through a stack of wedding photos, being able to hold and touch what you interact with ties you emotionally to it. In the digital age, a lot of what is most important is on devices, so when planning Windows 8 we wanted to make sure that the experience could support any orientation that the device could be held in.

As we designed the end-to-end experience on different form factors in Windows 8, we used the following principles:

  • The experience tailors itself for all form factors: small screens, wide screens, laptops and desktops.
  • The experience takes advantage of widescreen formats for multi-tasking and for full-screen video.
  • The device can be held and interacted with in the way that is most comfortable.
  • Developers have the opportunity to create one app that runs on all views and orientations across form factors with minimal effort.

We spent a considerable number of hours studying people as they used tablet devices in our usability labs as well as in their own homes. We’ve watched people who were already familiar with tablets, and we’ve watched people new to these form factors get started, and we stayed in touch with them for months afterwards. We noted grip styles, body postures, hand movements, and interactions with a variety of apps, device placements, and orientations. We saw a wide spectrum of variability, and we listened to users identify the factors influencing their choices about body and device orientation.  Influences on these choices included anthropometric factors like hand size and thumb reach distances, ergonomic factors like repetition and fatigue, hardware factors like accessibility to hardware buttons, environmental factors like where they were using the tablet (e.g. in the kitchen, bedroom, or living room), and physical factors like if they were using it standing, sitting on a couch, or sitting at a desk.  The number of combinations was staggering, contributing to the basic conclusion that postures, grips, and orientations change fairly frequently.  Simply put, there’s no one way to hold a device and people naturally seek to find a comfortable position and orientation that feels right for what they are doing with the device at the time.

A person sitting on a couch using a tablet in portrait mode

We initially thought that landscape or portrait orientation was mostly influenced by personal preference.  Each person that we watched rotated the device and each expected the device and UI to work with them at that moment.  What was surprising was that as people become more familiar with the device and the apps they cared about, the most unique influencer on whether they rotated the device was the type of content on screen. If the content and experience felt better in landscape, people naturally used the app in landscape-mode.  If the content and experience felt better in portrait, the app was used in portrait. As an example, most people prefer to watch a movie full-screen in landscape without black bars, while they prefer to read a long article or webpage in portrait, as it requires less scrolling.  The preferences we heard people express were heavily influenced by their own sense of whether the app offered a great experience in that orientation.  We’ve received questions and feedback about whether Windows 8 is “landscape first” or “portrait first.” Our point of view is that both portrait and landscape orientations are important, and experiences can be great in either orientation. Rather than picking a posture and orientation for optimization, we designed an experience that makes sense regardless of how the device is held, one that feels tailored for the app and its content.

Our goals when looking at landscape and portrait were as follows:

  • You can easily rotate your tablet to best suit your task or ergonomic posture.
  • Rotation in Windows is fast and fluid.
  • Windows rotates predictably across the system and apps – keeping the user in control.
  • Developers can easily build high quality and intentional landscape and portrait layouts, depending on the experiences they want to enable.

Windows in landscape mode

Some people have asked why we showed so much of the Windows 8 user interface in landscape at the //build/ conference. Windows 8 is a reimagining of all PCs, and it’s not just for tablets. It will run on hundreds of millions of laptops and desktops (designed for Windows 7 and new for Windows 8), many of which are and will be landscape-only. Also, in landscape and widescreen, we can offer a multitasking experience (snapping two apps side by side) and full-screen video playback without letterboxing. (In addition, for many of our larger demonstrations we are projecting to huge screens, which look better in landscape).

We’ve designed Windows 8 to be ergonomically comfortable in all orientations. We found that a comfortable posture for using a tablet in landscape is to hold in both hands and touch the screen with your thumbs. For this reason, we’ve designed the majority of the experience to be easily accessible under your thumbs. We also optimized the system to scroll horizontally, which feels fast and fluid in landscape as well as in portrait mode.

AllThingsD app snapped next to Stocks app in landscape mode

Windows in portrait mode

Windows is also designed to work great in portrait mode. We studied extensively scenarios like reading news in the web browser, looking at portrait photos, and scrolling through long lists of email messages, and we folded what we learned into designing a system that works seamlessly across orientations. We tuned the system experiences like the keyboard, file picker, and charms to work great in portrait as well as landscape. We wanted to make it so you don’t need to relearn the system when you switch to portrait mode; it just works.

Stocks app in portrait mode at 3:4, at 10:16, and at 9:16


Because one of our goals was to make the rotation transition between landscape and portrait feel fast and fluid, teams across Windows put significant work into streamlining the path of this transition, from the accelerometer hardware up through the graphics stack to the app.

An important part of the transition between landscape and portrait is the animation. The animation choreographs the appearance of a smooth transition between the two layout states. The timing of the animation is important as it had to be tuned to feel fast and responsive, while remaining smooth enough to make the transition not feel jarring. The Desktop Window Manager (DWM), which is foundational to the smooth animations in Windows 7 and Windows 8, orchestrates this animation.

Timeline shows when accelerometer begins to move, when device is rotated to portrait, when accelerometer stabilizes(at 100 milliseconds), and when timeline is complete (at 500 milliseconds)

We are continually working to make the rotation as stable and predictable as possible, as we know how annoying an over-eager rotation can be. Before the rotation starts, the system waits for the accelerometer to stabilize to prevent accidental rotations. We also wanted to keep you in control of the rotation experience, so that it wouldn’t be triggered accidentally. We introduced a hardware orientation lock to “override gravity” and keep the orientation the way you want it.

Rotation lock and Roation lock off commands

Different screens

In a future post, we’ll cover in depth how Windows 8 scales to different screens from a developer perspective, but it’s worth talking a little bit about screen size in the context of landscape and portrait orientations. Windows 8 will run on PCs with different sized screens and with different resolutions and different aspect ratios; from 4:3 screens that are closer to square, to widescreen 16:9 screens and everything in between. Our scaling platform enables Windows and apps to seamlessly adapt and reflow content to of these different screens and make use of the space. You can use many of these devices in either portrait or landscape. This diversity of choice is unique to Windows. You can choose the device and the orientation that best suits your needs and usage.

Landscape mode at 4:3, at 16:10, and at 16:9

The minimum resolution that Windows 8 Metro style apps can run is 1024x768. We chose this size as it is a common size designed for use on the web, and a strong majority (i.e. 98.8%) of Windows users can run at this resolution or higher (see chart below).

About 42% of Windows 7 users have 1366x768 screen resolutions. All other resolutions are shown with 12% or less.  1024x600 and 1280x720 support only desktop apps, while all other resolutions support all Windows 8 apps.

We think it is important to have a minimum resolution for apps, as it allows all developers to design the smallest main view of their app without fragmentation across devices. This minimum also ensures that users do not see broken app layouts due to small screen sizes.

The resolution that supports all the features of Windows 8, including multitasking with snap is 1366x768. We chose this resolution as it can fit the width of a snapped app, which is 320px (also the width designed for many phone layouts), next to a main app at 1024x768 app (a common size designed for use on the web).

These limits will be enforced at runtime. We are breaking from past practices in not providing a workaround for this, given that the main motivation is to make sure Metro style apps are designed to function fully at a specific published resolution. In the Developer Preview we did not have any useful runtime warning beyond the communication on the download site, which we will of course address for the beta. We did notice that a set of folks running on 600x800 virtual machines or 1024x600 Netbooks were inconvenienced and we're sorry about that. It is worth noting that the runrate of 1024x600 machines is very low as screen resolutions on the low end have moved to 1280x800, which supports Metro style apps without snap. This resolution is still a distant second to fully capable resolutions and we expect to see the shift to higher resolution screens continue as new PCs are brought to market.

Rotation and developers

In Windows 8, apps power the experience, so we worked to make it as easy as possible for developers to build both landscape and portrait views. As on any other platform, developers can choose which orientations they support for their apps, and how their experience is tailored. We expect most developers will provide a landscape view, as existing laptops and desktops make up the highest number of PCs in the marketplace today. However, if an app’s experience could support both landscape and portrait, supporting the portrait view is just an incremental amount of layout work.

Using the same techniques used to build for the Snap feature or for different sized screens, developers can easily build portrait experiences. HTML5 developers will use CSS media queries to bind their layout style to the orientation of the system, whereas XAML developers will change their layout in response to view state events. In both HTML and XAML, all of the adaptive controls and templates that the platform provides will support both portrait and landscape. Additionally, the system automatically handles the transition animation without any additional effort from developers. If there is content in an app that is best suited for one orientation, developers can prefer one orientation or the other, and the system will keep the app in that orientation (if the device supports it).

For testing apps, Visual Studio 11 and Expression Blend allow developers to test their apps in portrait and landscape mode and on different screen sizes and aspect ratios, even if they don’t have access to a tablet device.

Landscape and portrait in Visual Studio 11 Simulator

You can choose the device that best suits your preferences, pick it up in the way that is most comfortable, and the experience accommodates that posture. Apps can take advantage of widescreen with multitasking, and still look great in portrait orientation with minimal additional work.

Here’s a short video to show you the landscape-to-portrait transitions in action.

Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:
High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

We look forward to you trying it out!


Comments (287)

  1. JohannesB says:

    Looks great as always! Keep it up Microsoft!

  2. M says:

    This kind of usage confirms that Windows 8 is a tablet/phone OS only. Period.

  3. M is Wrong says:

    MS….Please think about changing the nomenclature "Charm"  

  4. Conor says:

    @M I disagree. A portrait option means that the new start menu is definitely designed with the mouse user in mind. You scroll across with a tablet, but you scroll down with a normal PC.

  5. This looks great.  I'm glad there's a lock available so one can override the accelerometer.  You can tell people spend a lot of time testing these, and I'm glad to see all of the thought that is going into this process.

    @M How can making the tablet experience great "[confirm] that Windows 8 is a tablet/phone OS only"? My phone is great at email, web browsing, SMS, phone calls, media playback, etc.  Does adding superb email funcionality make my phone any less than a phone?  Not in this world.  Thus, adding great tablet functionality to a PC does not necessarily detract from its own awesomeness.  

  6. Miguel says:

    Would there be themes (skins) for metro menus (in addition to the colors)?

  7. Miguel says:

    And when is Microsoft planning to release Windows 8? Is there a date yet? If not, do you know approximately? No rush..

  8. Miguel says:

    And when is Microsoft planning to release Windows 8? Is there a date yet? If not, do you know approximately?

  9. @David: You are a smart man, coming out with a tablet instead of a laptop or a desktop (maybe another reason is probably because it would be difficult to rotate the laptop and silly to rotate a desktop…just kidding).

    Yep, this post proves that all the work you guys have done so far is going to make Windows 8 a great tablet OS and I cannot wait to install it on my Iconia W500.

    It is a pity though we cannot get a definite answer over the Start Menu on the desktop which is definitely a deal breaker when it comes to productivity. But hey, let’s stay on the subject and say one more time, well done and hurry up, my tablet is waiting for the new OS…

    I definitely have to play VS2011 preview and give it a go making a tablet app.

  10. Brian says:

    Here's a Pro Tip for Microsoft: If you want people to believe that Windows 8 works equally well on tablet and desktop, SHOW US tablet AND desktop. Please stop highlighting just the tablet aspects. I've never owned a windows tablet, so I don't know how the Windows Desktop changes from portrait to landscape. I don't know how/if windows resize during that transition. I don't know how smooth the transition is from Port->Land in desktop. I don't know if there are any other transitional features. Etcetcetc. Sell me both if you want me to buy both!

    Here's a nice feature to have in the desktop portrait>landscape: When the device is landscape, Explorer has the preview pane on the right side. Then when the device gets rotated to portrait, the preview pane  (goes away) to accommodate the narrower screen.

    @Conor when the device orientation changes, apps still scroll from side to side, so that doesn't really help desktops.

  11. Wow. I never thought once about Windows 8 in portrait mode, except to answer one question about it on the forums. Honestly, it's not something I really think about or expect to be using, but it's good to know you're supporting it anyway. My monitor doesn't support pivoting, so I never considered about how Windows 8 works in portrait. Monitors are landscape, and I never really thought about Windows 8 on tablets, so I just never considered what the implications were of Windows 8 in portrait mode.

    The post confused me right from the beginning, though: "A Windows 8 PC is a new kind of device." What? How is a Windows 8 PC a new kind of device? If I were to install Windows Developer Preview on my PC, right now, I would have a Windows 8 PC, but it isn't a new kind of device. To be clear, I am using a custom-built PC, so it wasn't specifically designed for Windows 7, Windows Vista, or any other specific version of Windows. Did you mean to say that a Windows 8 tablet is a new kind of device? Perhaps you meant that a Windows 8 PC with a touchscreen is a new kind of device? If you meant that a Windows 8 tablet is a new kind of device, I agree, because there are no devices out there right now that are both optimized for touch and that run Windows apps, but a desktop running Windows 8 isn't a new kind of device, it's an older kind of device that runs new software. This forms the basis of almost all arguments against Metro.

    Great job on designing Windows 8 for tablets, though! I might actually consider using a dockable tablet instead of a laptop for the first time ever.

  12. Something I forgot to point out: I do have a PC with Windows Developer Preview installed on it, but it's not the one I'm using right now. The PC I use the Developer Preview on is a Windows Vista PC that I dual-booted with Windows 8, so I can't make the claim that it's a true "Windows 8 PC."

  13. Adam says:

    Why the videos aren't in Youtube? It's hard to play them, you're missing a huge audience.

  14. Love it so hurry up and get ARM support.  I want this on my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.

  15. @M with the advent of larger and less expensive monitors one of the more common configurations we are seeing among professional users is a mixture of portrait and landscape.  either one portrait flanked by two landscape or one landscape flanked by two portraits.  the former good for powerpoint/excel sorts of professionals and the latter for visual studio.  since we are all running Windows 8 on our workstations we get a chance to use these in a professional engineering setting.  not all monitors support pivoting in the the included base but most can be VESA mounted and the mounts pivot

  16. Don't forget that there are monitors that can be rotated to both portrait and landscape.

  17. Seb says:

    "Simply put, there’s no one way to hold a device and people naturally seek to find a comfortable position and orientation that feels right for what they are doing with the device at the time."

    Hm, didnt Apple recently tell people how to hold their cell phones?

  18. MS says:

    @Seb – I believe they told them how NOT to hold their cell phones.

  19. Kalpesh Chheda says:

    Cool N1. Now give it to me :p

  20. McAkins says:

    Thank you Microsoft for listening to my rant on the Portrait mode and the lack of support for Snap on the 10×16 screens. I am glad you rescind on your decision on the Snap support on my 10×16 EP121.

    This is why I like Microsoft, I can truly say Windows 8 was my Idea when you guys go to town. Keep up the good works.

    See my rants after the AllThingsD revelation of Windows 8 here:


    And my descovery that Portrait mode on a Widescreen is not beautiful here:


  21. Kirill says:

    What about fonts? Will cleartype change subpixel rendering after changing orientation in desktop mode?

  22. good work! if I might make a humble suggestion about video demos – especially of tablets – can you whip up a system where you pull the behavior of computer directly from the device, instead of shooting a glarey screen and then overlay that with transparent hands that could be shot separately with. for instance, the Kinect camera? This would make for some very clean and useful videos and shouldn't be too hard a system for you coding geniuses to build, I reckon.

  23. Will the snap feature work in portrait (one app above the other)? It really should.

    I won’t say anything more about the snap feature, since here is not the place. But I hope this blog will soon address this question, because the current version of snap is practically unusable. In Mr. Washington’s video, there were only 3 open apps. But imagine if he had 5+ open apps…

  24. Murilo says:

    Great Job! But I feel unconfortable with the horizontal scroll of Start in the portrait mode. Is natural, when using portrait try to scroll vertically in the same way we do on Windows Phone. Rearranging the tiles based on the orientation could be a good idea.

    Do you think in this kind of experience? Totally news way of thinking the main device screen.

  25. Bill says:

    All the apps look pretty awkward on that 16:9 portrait screen.  I really hope some quality Windows 8 tablets are available in 4:3.  The Android tablet ecosystem, for all its claims of openness and variety and innovation, has completely failed in that regard.

  26. @Dany Rodier

    Wow, I'd like a Like button, because that is exactly what I've been thinking.

    And an ability to stack more than two windows beside each other would be nice, too.

  27. You guys are wasting way too much energy, time and resources to make Windows 8 somehow better on a tablet. Stop!!!

    What about the all-important file system? NTFS has many known issues and quirks with it, you guys know this! WinFS was supposed to be so revolutionary…sigh, look at it now. When are you going to optimize the file system for the very speedy new SSD's? What about Protogon? I haven't heard a damn thing about any of these things, yet they're super critical for the vast majority of your users. THESE are the things that you need to focus your attention and talk about instead of wasting time on silly things like orientation. Come on!!! >:|

  28. Bob says:

    Isn't rotation disabled in the DP?  I sure can't get it to work on mine (though ot works fine in Win7 and I have installed the drivers into Win8 DP).

    I was pretty sure the answer over at the Metro Dev was that the DP broke rotation on purpose.

  29. @David Washington

    Am I right in thinking I saw you pull out an app from the left hand side of the screen… then chuck it away again and grab the next one waiting out of side to flip it onto the main screen?

    Is this a new (and very beautiful) functionality to more easily switch between apps? Or is it something that can only be done with touch devices (cause I cant seem to reproduce it with my laptop)?

    If its indeed a new feature, I am looking forward to try it out in the Beta…

    PS: I am not entirely sure, if I like the transition animation. I would prefer something more along the lines of the transition from a Metro app back to the start screen…

  30. Oh, alright. Just figured out how to do it (keep the mouse down, while pushing the app-preview out of sight and pulling in the next app). Thanks for showing this behavior in your demo. Otherwise I wouldnt have found out.

    I love it!!!

  31. DannyM says:

    The transition animation isn't that great to be honest, no visual indication to the user that the screen is rotating, it just flashes in. Not a great feel to be honest although it obviously works fine.

  32. Wonderful work! I completely agree that we should be able to have another window snap to the top or bottom of the screen instead of the sides like in landscape mode. I can imagine a scenario where I would have my RSS reader open in a bar along the top or bottom and then my web browser open in the main tile so I can browse my RSS feeds one after the other without switching back-and-forth. As you pointed out web pages are often rendered better in portrait mode anyway, and if we can multi-task in that mode it would make it that much more useful.

    Also, I would like to ask you to cover more information about WinRT with desktop applications. I can see an application like Photoshop or AutoCAD would really need a desktop environment to be most powerful, but in the future, I can easily see how you would want to eventually depreciate support for win32 so that you can have a more secure environment. If that ever happens, there will need to be a scenario where we can write against WinRT, but run in the desktop mode. Also, as a developer, I would like to write a single code-base, and just include two interfaces for if the user is running in desktop mode or in Metro mode and I would certainly need WinRT for that since some machines will only run WinRT applications in Metro mode.

  33. Sebastian says:

    @plot-paris, this works fine for me on my laptop. Just go to the left, click drag to the right and then back to the left edge without releasing the mouse button, and the next window on the list will come in. To quickly scroll between apps you just kind of keep wiggling the mouse left and right on the left edge.

  34. Windowsfan says:

    @David   The way you slid back into the bezel to switch apps at :35 was SO SLICK! I heard it could be done, but i'd never seen it. Very impressive.

  35. Great work! Especially the automation of the layout. I'm looking forward to try and convey information through the titles too. A great property of the Metro UI. The shape of the titles almost makes them imaginary (no margens).

    Regarding the topic about designing the start menu a reason we need the new start menu I think (my comments there concentrated on the deployment of programs and organization.

    However I'm still open to explanations whether this thing about initating an app should really be completely transparent i.e. there are just tiles (visual) – no techical terms like apps or technicalities ideally (allthough in practices from thinking "so" essentially about the UI with disconcern to apps – the apps list reintroduced a problem (the technicalities of apps – i.e. having an apps list). May be the apps so go away – and follow a similar idea to the tiles to present the more full complexity of whats formally available for the user – while the start screen then holds whats actually (virtually) available?

    May be the start screen with Metro UI holds a kind of impedeance mismatch between old and new – i.e. Windows 8 hybrid with Start Screen (new Metro UI – note: the tiles) and then the Apps list with the legacy. May be it so just go complete new. No apps legacy list – but something proposing tiles there as well. Like clusters of titles that can be sorted or filtered (like stacked) differently i.e. depending on what somebody suggested as tags. The you could do your own like "domain" thing of tiles and just say uninstall to the lot of them. And gone they there – delegated to an uninstall process in the system. That would support the touch stuff as well nicely?

  36. Joao M Correia says:

    What if your user couldn't care less about metro apps and the start screen, are there any improvements on the desktop front alone? (that is, without any start menu bloat?)

    Btw, great tablet OS.

  37. Alireza Noori says:

    It's awesome that you support rotation but I think the "fade" animation is not that good for this. I expect an actual rotation animation. Forgive me for saying this but the iPad does a very good job on the animation. I don't know but it feels more natural.

    Best regards.

  38. Win567 has already said it, but

    "A Windows 8 PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from small, touch-only tablets to laptops and desktops."

    is the most nonsensical thing I have ever heard.

    They're all separate devices that you are attempting to force the same UI experience onto. That's not the same thing at all.

  39. Xabier Granja says:

    Did I just notice a new awesome finger multitasking gesture at the 34th second of video, to switch to something other than the last app used? AWESOME!!

  40. "While reimagining Windows 8, we designed it to deliver a great experience regardless of the form factor or screen orientation. "

    As the mutliple thousands of comments on the Start Screen blog posts will tell you, you have failed Mouse users utterly in this regard so far.

  41. I stated above that for the first time, Windows 8 may convince me to buy a dockable tablet instead of a laptop. Notice though, I didn't say that it would make me consider buying a dockable tablet instead of a desktop. There is a difference.

    I do almost all of my compuing on desktops. While Windows 8 may be enough to make the laptop obsolete, the desktop isn't going anywhere. If the desktop was going to become obsolete, it would have happened long ago. Therefore, what's the point of Metro on desktops and laptops?

  42. Optimizing Apps List for tiles and Metro UI:

    Virtual Start Menu – making the Apps List a better provider for the Start Menu

    Considering web UI guess the proposition of a virtual Start Menu uses kind of faceted navigation while sticking to the user concept of an actual Start Menu (user concept as opposed to a global object or single instance Start Menu) . However, the set virtual Start Menu triggers help set the filters automatically while manual overrides is an aspects of user precedence presets on the filter thus across any Start Menu.

    With what – much similar to the idea in faceted navigation you can save on the navigation and much of the time just press the Start Menu button – which is the intention of the new Start Menu. However, the extention (data) of that – the Apps List – just need to support it. An impedeance mismatch or coupling problem between the Start Menu and the Apps List.

    See more detailed here about suggestions to behaviour or use case:


  43. Musafir_86 says:

    @Windows 8 Team,

    -So, will Windows 8 able to take advantage of AMD Eyefinity (3 or more monitors) in portrait mode natively? Will 'bezel compensation' be included by default? Will it be able to support mix-and-match of landscape and portrait monitors simultaneously? I mean this for typical everyday, non-gaming usage scenarios where other applications would be able to leverage Windows 8 native support.

    Thanks & regards.

  44. LD says:

    Wow, Metro looks horrible for PC's no matter how you turn the monitor.

  45. Metro Hater says:

    @LD Definitely, the metro design looks GOOD only to touch device but UGLY to laptop/desktop and other non-touch device

    C'mon, microsoft! Come out a design which looks GOOD to all devices rather than to touch devices only

  46. What about Left hand support? seriously, everything is designed for rightys, which makes sense, they are dominant, but there should be a setting somewhere that lets you flip between left and right handed….

  47. @Xabier Granja and @plot-paris. The gesture in question may impress at first, but one will quickly get disappointed by it, especially when the number of open metro apps increases. I really hope that the Windows team will come up with something more efficient, may be something like this:


  48. kevin206 says:


    There are more than one groups. The UI/UX group does its own work. The file system group does its own work. They're not directly impacting each other. Also realize that WinFS is a relational database sitting on top of NTFS.

    quote:"You guys are wasting way too much energy, time and resources to make Windows 8 somehow better on a tablet. Stop!!!"

    Stopping the UI/UX work would be a colossal mistake, especially for tablet.

  49. Mayhemm88 says:

    Did anyone notice the big fat SUPPORTS DESKTOP APPS ONLY on the chart for lower screen resolutions? This means there HAS to be a toggle switch somewhere that disables metro… THERE HAS TO BE!!!

    they sort of  just "unofficially" confirmed it….

  50. @ Mayhemm

    Microsoft announced that Metro would require a minimum resolution of 1024×768 4 months ago.

    That doesn't necessarily mean the Start screen will be disabled for those devices, nor should it be.

    People can use registry hacks and confine themselves to the desktop all they want. It doesn't really matter.

    Metro style isn't going anywhere. Actually, it's going everywhere.

  51. Chad Essley says:

    This is the one time you need to listen and do the screen rotation animation right ACROSS ALL GPU's!

    Embedded video or dedicated! The animation should be as smooth as the ipad! Come on MS! Get it right this time!

  52. Mayhemm88 says:


    and no disrespect to metro… I think it is a great tablet/touchscreen interface. but I will turn it off without hesitation on normal computers that lack touch capabilities… I think it can be agreed at this point that both the start screen and metro are inefficient on traditional PCs….

    Here is to hoping there is a kill switch, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Macintosh and Linux are starting to look better every day Microsoft "insists" on metro being the only option. At least with these OS I can choose not to use the touch features if I don't want to…

  53. Eric Malamisura says:

    I hope that's not the final rotation, it's extremely disorienting and not natural. The fade effect is the worst effect to use for rotation, you need to bit the bullet and just use the same effect iPad has, it's absolutely the perfect animation for rotation! The rotation you chose makes Win8 seem super slow to rotate and non-fluid in nearly every aspect!

  54. Oh snap! "screen resolutions on the low end have moved to 1280×800, which supports Metro style apps without snap."

    I could be wrong but I think 1280×800's popularity was because of Microsoft's OS. Add the 256 pixel wide Vista sidebar and the 32 pixel high taskbar and a window with an App in it at 1024×768 fits perfectly. 1024+256=1280 and 768+32=800. Anyway…

    The stats may be a little misleading. One of the reasons the 1366×768 is the highest percent is because of the preponderance of cheap $100-$200 Best Buy and Walmart monitors and similar monitors that are included with many consumer Desktop PC purchases. I would guess that the 16:10 aspect ratio is the much higher % than 16:9 when you look only at the existing Windows Tablet market.

    Many new models are 16:10 as were their predessors.

    Asus EP 121 – 12.1" 1280×800

    Fujitsu T901 – 13.3" 1280×800 (what I have)

    HP Elite Book 2740p – 12.1" 1280×800

    Most of the Panasonic Toughbook line

    Who knows what Dell's doing….

    Quite a few other convertible tablets

    ..and probably a sizable list of legacy Laptops.

    I realize that 16:9 screens kind of took over in 2008-09 because they're cheaper to make and most laptops these days are minimally 16:9 1366 x 768. So Win8's future market is probably expected to be 16:9. However, while 16:9 screens are cheaper to make, a "no compromises" approach would have said what aspect ratio looks best for a tablet. Isn't the IPAD 1024×768?

    I used a Lenovo Thinkpad X220T 12.5" 1366×768 for about 2 weeks before I bought the Fujitsu T901, and I have to say the portrait mode was so unusually long and narrow that I never used it. The example given of reading a long web page was that people tended to use portrait when the content warranted. My experience was that there was no content that looked good in portrait on a screen that narrow. The length of the screen was irrelevant because the page had to be squeezed in so much width wise. Web pages, Kindle books, and even OneNote just looked strange. Where it failed in portrait for me, it excelled in wide screen and the extra screen width was nice so I pretty much used it widescreen all the time. On the T901 portrait at 16:10 is totally different. I ink in portrait often and read ebooks. Web browsing etc, less os, because I like flipping the screen around with keyboard as a base – like imagine a laptop trackpad pointed toward your feet with the screen swivled around.

    So while a snapless Windows 8 on my T901 doesn't thrill me it wouldn't be a reason not to get Windows 8 and probably wouldn't even make my top 10 list. But like I said, 16:10 imho is a much better tablet form factor.

  55. Nice @Dany Rodier

    I like the left thumb accessible bar.

  56. @TheRichman — The resolution changes are not due to monitors (while it varies by outlet and geography, most desktops are coming wiht 1680×1050 or rarely 1440×900).  At the end of the comment I put the count of monitors for sale from tigerdirect.com by resolution from their web site as of today, but these are not bundled just for sale.

    The primary driver is the run rate of portable machines which account for 58% of PCs sold and are growing at 5x the rate of desktops which have some growth but at a constant according to IDC.  So any changes in resolution we see are very much driven by portable machines.  As you can imagine, a percentage of desktop machines do not get sold with new monitors and so that is where a lot of the 4:3 resolutions are used.

    Many factors contribute to the resolution used in portable machines.  There are cost factors, manufacturing yield, and differentiation across model lines to name a few things.  There are also tradeoffs in weight and battery life as well.  We're seeing a rapid rise in 1366×768 in mainstream laptops with the rise in machines at the 11-12" size (with and without a keyboard).  Like many component choices, as things shift the demand increases broadly and then the supply increases which shifts the market.  You see a similar dynamic for example as PCs all change SIMM/DIMM sizes due to manufacturing/supply changes.

    The aspect ratio is an interesting conversation.  I think we're just happy with having nearly all machines sold today meeting the minimum full experience bar and all machines with just a few small exceptions meeting the Metro style requirement.  During the Developer Preview we have seen a lot of folks run on 800×600 VMs and folks dusted off some unused vintage netbooks running at 1024×600, neither of those resolutions support Metro style.  I know this is something some believed was a "registry key" but in fact is all about the ability for developers to build applications that run at many resolutions without needing to run at infinite resolutions–scaling the UI and layout is a real challenge and so focusing on speciifc ratios (not resolutions, just scale factors) with a well-known minimum delivers a much better experience across resolutions (and the two snap views) than if we expect apps to scale from below the current WIndows min to much larger.  More on this in a developer focused post down the road.

    Count of different resolutions of desktop monitors for sale at tigerdirect:

    2560 x 1600 (2),  1920 x 1200 (6),  1920 x 1080 (129),  1680 x 1050 (11),  1600 x 900 (23),  1440 x 900 (9),  1366 x 768 (15),  1360 x 768 (1),  1280 x 1024 (18),  1024 x 768 (3),  800 x 480 (1),  2560 x 1440 (1)

  57. xpclient says:

    I use portrait mode mostly for reading eBooks and PDFs because they are fixed width. One beef that I have always had with Windows 7 on devices with portrait orientation is the Taskbar. I don't wish to use the Taskbar positioned on the sides, I prefer it at the bottom. However, the taskbar buttons in Windows 7 are spaced out far too wide, even if you set them to "Small icons", the space between each button is far too wide, even more than my fat fingers really need. As a result, I am unable to accommodate as many apps on the taskbar as I could previously with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition. To understand what I am trying to say, go download 7TaskbarTweaker from rammichael.com/…/7tt_setup.exe and turn on this setting called "Remove extra gap between pinned items" as shown in this screenshot: rammichael.com/…/7-Taskbar-Tweaker.png. That should be the correct spacing for taskbar buttons. Can Microsoft improve upon the current design please? The notification area icons are also too spaced out too far apart in Windows 7. I understand that you may have made these changes for touch devices but in the portrait orientation, they really leave no empty space on the taskbar even if there are a handful of pinned apps. A global setting for the taskbar to allow the user to narrow the spacing would be perfect. Such a setting would be massively useful even for landscape scenarios so users can accommodate more buttons on the taskbar before they start to get grouped (if set to "Combined when taskbar is full").

    Btw cool features – the way you have described how you designed the rotation animation is interesting and hardware orientation lock is very cool. I actually love the fade animation which looks smooth, over an actual rotation animation which may look blocky if the tablet graphics aren't powerful enough. This blog post excites me about using Windows 8 as the only OS on a tablet! Tablets are becoming more and more common, they have landed on my favorite TV shows too. That does not change my opinion that the Start Menu and desktop UI should remain default for desktops and laptops.

    One annoyance I experienced with Metro Snap in the Developer Preview is that it moved the positions and sizes of all my desktop apps too like Notepad, desktop IE etc. It should absolutely not even touch Win32/desktop app positions and sizes when I snap two Metro apps side by side. Hopefully, this will be corrected in the beta.

    Please consider a setting to reduce the taskbar spacing. Agree about the Preview and Details pane suggestion too. For sake of supporting both landscape and portrait just as well as the other, you should allow the user to move both panes in Explorer to whichever side he prefers. Like Microsoft's products already allow – Outlook's email preview pane, Hotmail preview pane, the Windows Taskbar etc are some examples.

  58. @McAckins, I did read your articles a few months ago! Thanks for watching!

  59. @Kirill, great observation! You must be a ClearType enthusiast! ClearType works by accessing the individual color stripe elements in every pixel of an LCD screen. The orientation of the color stripe elements is a physical property of the display so they can’t change dynamically. Any display manufacturer, however, could orient these color stripe elements in portrait or landscape.

    Additionally, as many tablets today have higher and higher pixel densities than traditional desktops; when there are more device pixels drawing text you get the same effect as ClearType.


  60. @Dany Rodier

    Thanks for the feedback and reading the post. The snap feature is only available when there are at least 1366px horizontal across. Usually this means a display in landscape orientation but it could be larger desktop monitor in portrait orientation.

    We only have one snap view size to keep the developer story as simple as possible. This allows developers to focus on making that snap view great. In a future post we’ll talk about the scaling considerations that we’re made for different screens and developers.

  61. @plot-paris, @DannyM, @Alireza Noori, @Eric Malamisura

    Thanks for the feedback on the rotation animation. As you know, what we showed here is a developer preview so the visuals aren’t final. Our goal is to make this transition as fast and fluid as possible and I agree that having a great transition here is important.

  62. @Chat Essley

    The rotation and transition animation are choreographed and rendered by the Desktop Window Manager (DWM), the same component that draws the many of the animations in Windows 7 and Windows 8 that we all love. DWM is hardware accelerated so you do get the benefit of the GPU.

  63. Ryan says:

    Wow… 1366×768 is by far the most common display resolution?

    I would normally not consider posting a support type question here, but since this is *by far* the most popular resolution, will someone working on the Remote Desktop client ***please fix RDC for 1366×768 resolutions***? At every other resolution I've tried (including 1360×768, which is the workaround we have to force on our laptop fleet to support RDC) works fine, but if you run at 1366×768, you cannot work in full screen mode. You may open it one time in full screen mode, but as soon as you Restore the window size, it will not go back to full screen. If you close and reopen RDC, it will still not go back to full screen. It's a major pain for our remote users, so our only real choice is to run at non-native resolution.

    Just want to agree with McAckins, also–16:10 and 16:9 are pretty poor for portrait mode. Sadly, that's the trend (partly due to the manufacturer cost savings). We have all dual-monitor desktop configurations in our offices, and when we evaluated monitors for the setups, it was immediately apparent that, despite the cheaper cost, widescreen monitors don't work well for portrait mode. Confirming what @Steven Sinofsky stated, we found that most people prefer to have a mix–one monitor in portrait, one in landscape. Widescreen makes total physical sense for big screens in movie theaters. If all you do is watch movies on your device, then widescreen makes sense there as well. Otherwise, when you're used to working with a vertical resolution greater than 900 and have to switch to a 768 device, it's about as comfortable as an itchy sweater….

  64. Ryan says:

    I should have mentioned in the previous post–the RDC + 1366×768 issue occurs on Windows 7. I haven't verified it on Windows 8 yet, but it would be great to get a patch for RDC on Windows 7 in the meantime!

  65. I am Windows says:

    I think people are surprised about how to avoid the registry even if this is a problem that people experience every day. Perhaps you should consider putting people at the center and we also talk about what they perceive as problems or potential problems.

  66. Wolf says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    So in other words netbook user that have touch or non touch screens are going to get scrwed do to that fact there native screen resolution is 1024×600 (widescreen) Touch = Dell Duo / Flip

    I bealive all Metro apps should work on any screen resolution from 800×600. And please do not tell me its not possible. As seen here (my own video) I have many Metro Apps loading and running on a Netbook at 1024×600. and they look fine. SO why the restrication?

    Also I did it with out having to modife or add any registery keys or files.. Just a simple click and they loaded. I tell my secret when and if Windows 8 Release with the metro Apps Screen Resitriction in Place.

    Witch brings me to another part. ALL Resolutions should be enabled by defult to use windows 8 Metro Snap. User should not have to add/edit a Registery Key/Value to use such features that are all ready built into windows.


    Once last question will DreamScene / Movies and a background be maiking a apprince here once again. After useing Vista and then Added the files to Windows 7 I never used a Image as a backgound fr more then 5+ years. So I hope user are able to use .mpegs / .wmv / .avi formats for Windows Desktop Backgrounds again

  67. Wolf says:

    @ my self

    I forgot  to add the link to my video showing proof that metro apps do infact run on screen resolutions lower then 1024×768


  68. @Wolf the Dell Duo is 1366×768.  http://www.dell.com/…/pd

    The chart above shows the percentage of Windows 7 machines less than 1024×768 (1.2%) and given what systems are shipping with, this number is not growing in an absolute sense and is shrinking quickly as a percentage of existing machines.  All Windows 7 software continues to be fully supported on these machines should you choose to upgrade them.  

  69. Wolf says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    That still dosn't justify why Aero Snap is limited to the screen resolution at 1366×768. All I mean All displays can do aero snap with a simple registery key / Value

    And you know what. even on something as small as 800×600 it looks grate and still useible. On my netbook at 1024×600 it looks well too.

    On my 26Inch HDTV at 1360×768 (native) 720p it still looks and works excelent. So there no excuse why its limited and then can be renabled via regedit.

    Thats still dosen;t explain why metro apps are so called limited to 1024×768 when I was able to get the weater app, SocialLite, & RSS Feed App to load on my netbook at 1024×600 with out needed to edited or add any Registers or Files to the system…

  70. Snap says:

    Is there any reasoning as to why there is no support for 1/2 and 1/2 applications (or is there) – I understand that it is useful for many to have the 1024×768 resolution for many cases, but 1/2 and 1/2 works well on the desktop for multi-tasking (it might also be useful in situations where that 320 pixel bar just isn't enough) – and it would be nice to leave the user in control (albeit at the cost of some work by developers).

    If you reconsidered this and wanted to offer (1/2 – 1/2) in a next version of Windows ("9"?) it could be quite difficult as apps might need to be re-written to support this, whereas if it is implemented now, there are no extra legacy issues.

  71. xpclient says:

    Btw note that if you do actually try 7 Taskbar Tweaker, it will only work at the moment with Windows 7. It crashes Windows 8 Explorer, do install it on Windows 8.

  72. I agree, bring DreamScene funcionality to Windows 8

    And support ANY video format codecs are installed for.

    Woth MP4 being the main format.

    It's the most popular video format, with all other formats decreasing in use. Therefore it's only right to do so.

  73. I am Windows says:

    I am very sad because i was ignoring my cries for help are.

    The windows registry.

  74. Green Chocolate says:

    These are awesome features for a Windows Tablet. But What about the new features for  Desktop users. I think microsoft team is just focused in competing with Apple Ipad 2 and Android tablets and forcing desktop users to use same tablet features in PCs.

  75. I am Windows Registry says:

    When PEOPLE FORGET that I EXIST then the WORLD can LIVE in PEACE.

    The Windows REGISTRY

  76. I am Windows says:

    I was born to duplicate the keys to my registry.

    This is a joke, but I hope you hear my users.

    This is my last comment.

  77. WindowsVista567 says:

    Keep up the good work MS! No complaints about Windows 8 so far. Gotta go moms kicking me off the puter.

  78. Yeah I guess this make sense on a phone or tablet. :-/

  79. កើយ ចិត្រា says:

    I downloaded and test it in my del mini 1010. It work very good and so beautiful and full activated when I activate online to microsoft. Thanks you. 🙂

  80. External monitor says:

    I have a netbook (10.1" at 1024 x 600) connected to a Samsung external monitor (22" at 1680 x 1050).

    Solution will be to connect an external monitor, then it should display Metro apps correctly.

  81. far says:

    the transision from landscape to  portrait is very slow in my opinion

  82. far says:

    the transision from landscape to  portrait is very slow in my opinion

  83. DamionM says:

    So with this restriction on the resolution am I correct in assuming that windows 8 will not be the choice os for control panels on fridges,  washing machines, microwaves, remote controls etc as the resolution size to actual display size would not make it optimal?  

    I think the restriction you placed should be that depending on configuration settings elements such as tiles, text, boxes either scales or stays fixed sizes

  84. i asked a question about this in the forum a couple of days ago regarding desktop software in portrait mode and this blog doesnt answer the question and to be honest all these blogs seem to be purely focused on Metro and you are not showing us anything in regards to the desktop underneath.  i understand that metro is the new big feature of windows 8 but i would realy like to see some blogs on what your doing to improve the desktop/explorer side of things , you said in the blog ..

    "Windows 8 is a reimagining of all PCs, and it’s not just for tablets. It will run on hundreds of millions of laptops and desktops"

    so please show us what you are doing to improve the experience on laptops and desktops because you seem to be focusing purely on tablets and metro at the moment. Whats new in windows itself? what exciting new features will it have? i want to read what your doing to improve the desktop experience and im sure many others do aswell.  

  85. What about the ICC 24 color profiles in both modes and the "desktop view"? Will Windows 8 support the color profiles "out-of-the-box' in the Start (and in the windows Explorer in the desktop view) ?

  86. StopConfusingMSplz says:

    @Amy Gx: Stop confusing the poor people at Microsoft, they cannot deal with more than one feature at a time.

    Metro UI is all they care at the moment until their sales numbers show them there are ignored by the desktop users. But anyway, did you see how “nice” the new Start menu looks? It is full of rectangles and it is always full screen. What desktop, let’s go back in time when there was no desktop.

  87. JSM says:

    Desktop monitors that can be rotated into portrait mode are common.  Will windows 8 be able to detect this without additional drivers,  software or user intervention ?

    Also,  if I understand well,  in landscape mode,  puting applications side by side is possible,  but in portrait mode not.  Will it still be possible in portrait mode to stack 2 applications vertically ?

  88. Dan says:

    I agree with Dany Rodier's ides for a taskbar for Metro. I assume the concept is one the slides in at the side. I also like the current "flipping" in of apps from the side. PErhaps a two-fingered swiped to bring in a taskbar would be good. Both options would be useful and it wouldn't be too hard to have both.

    I also think we need a persistent notification area. It's the one thing I don't like about Windows Phone, in that you have to tap the top of the screen to see signal strength, battery level, etc. I want such info at a glance. Same goes for the clock. Windows 8 should be the same. Give us a simple strip across the top of thestart screen (and persistent across all metro apps) that displays notifications. Considering the new notification functionality of Windows 8, it only makes sens that there should be a "collection area" for all apps that have submitted a notification. There should also be a "detailed" view for these notifications, where we can gather up the data and respond accoridngly (enter apps, dismiss notificatoins, etc)

    Also, on the front of those who are distinguihing between tablets, laptops and desktops, I think those lines will become blurred in the coming years and Microsoft is right with their approach to a unified OS. I currently have a desktop and a laptop. I have both because each has specific uses (desktop provides more power and has a large monitor for greater multitasking and the laptop is purely for portability. I also use the desktop for media centre, hence it is also connected to a TV). I'd love a tablet, too, but it also can't replace either device. Yet.

    I can see a real possibility of future devices running Windows 8 and using Intel Lightpeak/Thunderbolt for a docking interconnect. Lightpeak being little more than a protocol-agnostic external PCI-e lane, this is how I see my future devices being. I have a tablet device, running Windows 8 with typical low-voltage components. I can dock this into a keyboard tray using lightpeak and it becomes a laptop, able to take advantage of additional hardware in the dock, such as larger hard drives, optical drives, addtional connectivity like USB ports, etc. Then, I take my tablet home and drop it into a desktop dock that is not only connected to by 30" monitor and 50" HDTV, but also has a discreet graphics card in it. With future iterations of lightpeak technology, this dock might also contain extra RAM and maybe a second CPU.

    No more having two or three devices. Now its just the one, with docks for different uses. This may even include your smartphone one day (dock it into a larger screen to make it a tablet). The tech isn't quite there yet, but its close enough to see what is possible. I think Microsoft are right on the money with their unified OS approach and if I'm right on what we will see hardware-wise in the coming years, then this approach will lead to Microsoft once again dominating across the PC market. Android and iOS will look quaint and dated in their "different OS for different form factors" approach.

  89. NoThankYou says:

    @Dan: I hope you learn one day that desktops are not the same as tablets or your TV at home. And of course after the Windows 8 fiasco I rather prefer it if Microsoft stays out of “dominating positions” given their latest full screen in your face rectangles attitude.

  90. Eric says:

    As a Windows developer, I can appreciate the effort being put towards "one-environment to rule them all". No, most desktop users will be using "Windows 7 Classic" mode a good 99% of the time, but the fact that I don't need to port out my programs for mobile (tablets) and traditional computing options is totally win.

    I'm loving the blog so far, but I think it might be time for some higher-level enhancement posts, like the first few ones with the Windows Explorer enhancements. You've already sold me a thousand times over on getting a Windows 8 tablet — I want to see how Windows 8 will help improve my productivity when I have to work, not just how easy it's going to be when I get to use it for fun.

  91. Tony says:

    @Amy Gx, Metro is new stuff so they will show you the new stuff in demo. To watch how desktop apps works in portrait view, you can check any legacy tablet running windows and you can always watch Build vids to watch it in action and further details.

    @StopConfusingMSplz, "cannot deal with more than one feature at a time."?? You mean Metro, graphical boot manager, Quick boot, New FileSystem with SkyDrive integration, New Browser, Ribbon in Explorer, Fast and Integrated Antivirus, Picture login, Pervasive session to retain the state of multiple apps over multiple devices and tons of other stuff .. all that equals one? you sound familiar… oh sorry you are just another freaking troll (JAFT). WTF you are doing here?

  92. YouReallyNeed says:

    @Tony: Go to see a doctor m8, you have some serious issues Windows 8 cannot correct for you even in landscape mode.

  93. "Only for tablets and phones"?  That was an incredibly stupid declaration.  I happen to have LCD screens that ROTATE, and there are times when that is much more convenient in reading or working with certain things.  The reason most don't think to use portrait mode with Windows (it's long been a common feature of Macs used in publishing) is because landscape has always been "the way we do it".  Tablets are changing that meme.  And, smartly, the future of Windows as a more ubiquitous platform means it makes sense for the OS to be equally functional in either mode, on any device.  And, to be honest, I'm so use to my WP7 device now that it was a bit disconcerting when I loaded up the Windows Developer Preview and the Metro-like US was landscape.  It just didn't seem 'right'.  I'm looking forward to the Beta, and between now and then I'll probably have to buy another rotatable screen for my test computer.  I won't be surprised if WP8 doesn't also introduce a rotating Start screen, keeping the platform consistent across devices.

  94. @David Washington

    Thanks for answering. But with all due respect, it seems to me you went too far in the simplifying process. I mean, how am I supposed to work with the small snapped window? Except for those apps which supply only a small amount of information (weather, feeds, etc.) and which have nothing to do with my main computing tasks, this small snapped window is simply too narrow to be of any efficient use to me (and my resolution is 1680×1050). I mean, have you seen what the Metro IE looks like in the small snapped window? And it even gets worst with the Desktop: What am I to do with those thumbnails appearing in the small snapped view of my Desktop?

    Swipe and Snap tend to confirm that Windows professional users will mostly stay away from Metro apps and confine themselves in the Desktop, at least, as long as it comes to work. I hope you will prove me wrong.

  95. Xero says:

    @Steven Sinofsky, animation pertaining to rotation for Start screen is ok and its Microsoft's choice. Of course, it would be wonderful if you make it customizable with some predefined effects system-wide (like happens in PowerPoint). But what about the third party apps? Would you provide the means to override the default rotation effect for developers or eventually the third party apps? Like in games and other apps, we prefer to even display the interim states of rotation to make it feel fluid, real and without animation. Would it require something like low level system calls for HDC etc. to get those frames?

    Please reply to this concern.

  96. Eric Matthews says:

    I don't believe that you have researched anything, other than visiting your local Apple Store and buying a bunch of iPads.  The screen orientation behavior shown here is nothing we haven't seen before.  This blog post even shamelessly restates tablet usage patterns Steve Jobs extolled in the early 2010 Apple event where he unveiled the iPad.

    Microsoft has become nothing short of the American version of the Korean conglomerate Samsung.  Introducing their own branded versions of products that are already popular and selling well.    

  97. iWindows Project says:

    Next Time I Will Run Windows 8 on iPad Using USB and Apple Peripherals Connection Example: Apple Camera Kit + USB =Windows 8 Yeah  

  98. Stefan says:

    Will your computer's "Secure Boot" turn out to be "Restricted Boot"?


    Stand up for your freedom to install free software


  99. I have just now finished installing Windows 8 Dev Preview 32 on VMWare 8……..

    And I have to say……  Good job Microsoft. 🙂

    It was smooth, instant and fluid. Even without any touch enabled devices I could feel the touch centric use interface from my mouse gestures. Audio and video are working fine as it would in Windows 7. Still exploring more features as was shown to us when Microsoft demonstrated Windows 8 in Infy campus. Loved the way they compared it with iPad(what would you do on an iPad….play angry birds and then play more angry birds).

    Internet Explorer has never been this fast.

    I would love to see this on a bigger wider screen (may be 12/13 inches) super sleek tablet.

  100. @Eric Matthews says:

    Excuse me? iPad1,2 don’t even have any effect while rotating. If you don't wana buy what they are selling, why you are even around? Gosh you guys are bloody haters!

  101. Dan says:

    @NoThankYou no need to make snarky comments. I do know what a desktop is, being that I've worked in IT for over 12 years! I've also worked with computers a lot longer than that and have seen the desktop evolve a lot from what it once was, to what it is today.

    It's unfair to call Windows 8 a "fiasco" being that the only copy of it people are arguing over is an alpha build. You can't judge a product based on your own subjective opinion before it's even complete. It could be a disaster or the best OS ever produced, or any of the wide middling ground in between.

    To be quite honest, all the overtly agressive responses to the Windows 8 just remind me of how people hated the taskbar in Windows 95, or switched to the classic start menu when Windows XP came out. I knew a guy who insisted we set up Program Manager on his desktop on Windows 95, because he couldn't be dealing with "all this start menu stupidity." It took a long time for a lot of people to get to grips with such a change in interface.

    I'm not using Windows 8 on my desktop, simply because I need Media Centre and it's not in the dev preview. But I have switched to it full time on my laptop (which I use as if it were a desktop when I'm in the office) simply so I can get accustomed to the new interface. It's been a chore, much in the same way as getting used to the ribbon was on Office 2007. But I am seeing the benefit of it as a launcher already, even if it will clearly not make its true use apparent until it is feature complete and we have a good number of metro apps that make use of the new functionality.

    I wouldn't call it perfect (nor should I ,as its – once again! – not feature complete) and there are things I would do differently or add (such as a metro taskbar and notifications bar) but contrary to popular belief, it DOES work with traditional desktop workloads. The Windows desktop is still there and you rarely need to even see the start screen once you've got your necessary programs open – much like you rarely open the start menu. But when you do switch to the start screen – even on a big, fixed monitor – it IS useful. It will be even more useful once we have programs that make use of it as an information dashboard. I already can think of numerous scenarios where it will be useful for my clients and they all predominantly use desktop computers. Scaling that same functionality across a multitude of devices will be invaluable to many, too.

    People need to stop judging this based on what they've seen on a developer preview. It's not meant to show end-users the features of the OS, but to allow developers to practise working with the new development environment. Hopefully, the public beta will be feature complete and will also include an open Windows Store, so we can start getting apps for metro. Then  – and only then – will be the time to determine if it really will work well on all form factors.

  102. Fleon says:

    With any luck, we'll finally see some 4:3 tablets again.  People don't understand why I still have a 3.5 year old Lenovo x61 until they use it in portrait mode.  Then they try to go buy one.

  103. OnTopic says:

    Do these things EVER stay on topic?!?!  The comments section of one blog post just continues the same conversations from the last blog post.  It's like half the people never even read the post, and just come here as a place to rant about the same topics again and again.  I realize that Microsoft is watching the posts in this location, so you feel you have an actual audience.  However… how about we try to create SOME continuity in conversations here people????  These "comment" posts that are now getting long enough to be a blog post of their own, are getting a little out of place and most likely ignored by the majority.

  104. @OnTopic.

    This is my first comment to this post, but the reason why you see people bringing up the same topics might be because Microsoft keeps ignoring them.

  105. other guy says:

    @OnTopic Well, when the points they raised are ignored by the people they are trying to reach, you really can't blame them for trying to raise them again.  I, too, would like the answer to questions like "How do you get actual work done with this Metro?"  I've learned more from these "blog post"-esque comments than the original posts.

  106. NotImpressed says:

    I must agree with Amy Gx. All I'm seeing is a new Windows phone based GUI for touch devices. There is nothing in Metro for desktops/laptops and I see no other discussions other than Metro this, Metro that, Metro, Metro, Metro.

    I was hoping for a serious Windows Operating System upgrade to Windows 7, not just a GUI gimmick.

  107. I love Amy Gx says:

    Amy Gx is right. Amy, you are the only exciting feature.

    By the way, I've read some of your posts and they made me smile. I send you hugs and kisses :)))

    And I hope you try the Apple side of life, don't ruin your beautiful smile with the many moments of anger caused by using Windows.

    Amy Gx I love you. Stefano.

  108. I am Windows Reload says:

    I am the registry and are programmed to duplicate my keys daily.

    I am the registry and no one can help me.

    I am the registry and am the keeper of the keys.

    I am the registry and the keys are my treasure.

    I have CCleaner on my task is to delete the keys that Windows creates unnecessarily.

    I have CCleaner and are the most downloaded program in the world.

    I have CCleaner and are the most downloaded you can check on filehippo.com

    I am a Windows user and I love Windows and I want to improve it.

    I am a Windows user and expect an answer.

    PS. I paid user support.

  109. Comments says:

    So is it finally time to turn off anonymous comments yet?

  110. Wow…………………… !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now i can can say somewhere ( In the touchscreen hardware field of PC`s  )  Microsoft have learned to give their user what they want. I doesn't have a tablet but by reading article i can assume that Microsoft will definitely try to give a blasting feel of touch UI in tablet PC`s era. So lets watch in the feature how will the user response for tablet comp to use windows 8 or will there be i OS Apple i pad continues to be best for tablet choice.      

  111. Nitz Walsh says:

    @Eric Matthews

    "Excuse me? iPad1,2 don’t even have any effect while rotating."

    Apparently you have a broken iPad.  On my iPad2, the windows smoothly rotates and icons and automatically moved around – it's far more elegant than a simple fade in/out (and appears to be more responsive based on the win8 portrait demo).

  112. Nitz Walsh says:

    @Eric Matthews

    "Excuse me? iPad1,2 don’t even have any effect while rotating."

    Apparently you have a broken iPad.  On my iPad2, the windows smoothly rotates and icons and automatically moved around – it's far more elegant than a simple fade in/out (and appears to be more responsive based on the win8 portrait demo).

  113. @Dany Rodier

    Thanks or the feedback. The fact that the snap view is fixed 320px wide, allows developers to tailor and refine the view for this size in a targeted way. A typical phone app is about the same width and we are used to seeing great phone apps. We've already seen a lot of exciting and creative snap views with the apps that our interns wrote.

    I recommend you take a look at Jensen Harris's "8 traits of great metro style apps" he shows a lot great snap views at the 0:48:00 mark.


  114. Navy Trooper says:

    @Nitz Walsh, iPad way doesn't fascinate me much really while windows 8 looks more elegant and there is lot to talk about various features of this OS with eloquence.

  115. What phone apps are 320 px?????????

    iPhone is 960×640 brah… even the Faildroid phones are roughly the same res…

  116. Charing Wong [MSFT] says:


    There’s actually an equal amount of dexterity required from both hands because there’s important UI on both sides of the device: recently used apps on the left, and Charms on right. This is why we didn’t design for the UI to switch sides for handedness, but did switch them for versions of Windows with right-to-left languages.

  117. Thanks @Steven Sinofsky,

    First, apologies for the “no compromise” comment.  I thought I cut that out! It was part of some inline notes to explain something like “I know I can imagine Iron Man movie type interfaces but can’t build one right now.” I didn’t want to create a 2 page blog post so I removed it (most of it). I blame Notepad!

    I’m happy to agree to … agree. I do understand (mostly, I’m no screen expert) your rationale and no doubt "ratios (not resolutions, just scale factors) with a well-known minimum" has to be paramount and 1280×800 could not be that minimum given “the width of a snapped app, which is 320px… next to a main app at 1024×768 app…”

    Mine was more a general lament about the preponderance of the 16:9 form-factors all the way up and down the computing device food-chain when I believe 16:10 is better for tablets. And a little wishful thinking that Win 8 would be all the reason manufactures’ needed to bring it back in the tablet space. And who knows, maybe full screen Metro Apps will even help mitigate some of the narrowness of devices like the Lenovo x220t.

    And looking forward to forthcoming developer focused post.

  118. Stefan says:

    I wonder how many with a desktop computer with a touchscreen using MetroUI that will sue Microsoft for that they have got a "gorilla arm" ? Are Microsoft ready for this ?

  119. @Microsoft

    Multitasking in metro UI seems a bit flawed if we use more than 3 or 4 Apps. Any ideas to improve App switching in Metro?

  120. @David Washington

    Thanks again. The video from Jensen Harris confirms my point: the only examples shown (Tweet@rama, Stocks, Weather, Build Sessions, WordHunt, and Piano) have strictly nothing to do with my daily computing tasks. But I think the intention is clear: the Snap feature is a way of making the most out of Windows Phone apps. Since I wouldn’t work on a 320px display, the Snap feature is simply not for me. It then follows that Metro multitasking is useless to me. And since I do neither want to work on full screen, the Metro platform is altogether irrelevant to me. Hence, if Windows does not offer a fully satisfying Desktop experience, I’m out. With such a rigid and limited Metro platform, Windows 8 is about to irreparably discredit what at first appeared to be a promising design.

    @Steve Sinofsky

    Please consider making a bold move soon. We are seeing more and more reviews predicting that Windows 8 will be a flop. Those Windows users who are waiting for a Windows 8 tablet are already convinced; they had enough on this forum to be filled with enthusiasm. But an important part of this audience is still far from being convinced. Anybody can feel that. Please give us a few posts in a row that present improvements made in the beta version of Windows 8 in order to empower the professional user. Let’s talk less about Metro and more about multitasking, efficiency, and Desktop. After all, we are your main advertisers.

  121. Multitasking??? says:

    @Jin78  Multitasking?? .. That doesnt exist in W8 now it's called doubletasking or singletasking .. just kidding

  122. monakh says:

    Steve, when can we see this functionality integrated in the Dev Preview or is it already there?

    I am going to test Windows on my Dell Duo so I was just wondering.

  123. @Dany Rodier — Articles such as http://www.zdnet.com/…/4118 and http://www.winsupersite.com/…/windows-weekly-230-start-menu-lie-140912 point out some of the interesting things about analyzing the product today without any apps (btw, we have been calling things apps since the very begining of the "apps division" at Microsoft in the 1980's).  

    We've done 30 or so posts so far and half of them mention Metro and so one could say the other half have been about improvements for non-Metro style enhancements such as improved boot, security, anti-malware, task manager, explorer, file management, USB 3.0, hyper-v, and so on.  We'll endeavor to continue to balance the posts to explore the totally new and the improvements to what is already there (assuming your definition of "professional" means improving what is there already).

  124. LD says:

    @David Washington

    "8 traits of great metro style apps"…. that they run in a window that the user can move and resise on the desktop should be #1.  Metro on tablet, not bad.  Metro on PC's, moronic.

  125. oh.. in Windows 7(and older Windows) i cant use Persian(Farsi) characters for naming my programs 's folders, because program(setup file or Portable or installed file) can't run . because Farsi is a UTF-8 language.

    Please native UTF-8 in Windows.

    i stored all programs in one of drives of my PC's hard disk. Even, programs like Office and Photoshop that i have bought their 's DVD.

    You can see in this pic: isaad.persiangig.com/softwarefolder.gif

    Some folders need short description, like pic: isaad.persiangig.com/miscellaneousfolder.gif

    but most of programs can't run when file or path folders are named by UTF-8 characters.

  126. I agree, UTF-8 needs to be the standard system wide, and get rid of ANSI. and updayte the filesystem (Preferably ZFS or ZFS like) and support Unix filenames.

  127. TomH says:

    As far as I'm aware, text antialiasing (i.e. cleartype) still does not work properly in portrait orientation even with Windows 7.

  128. Xero says:

    @TomH, regardless to the orientation and besides the ability to adjust and even turn off the cleartype, this issue was reported in IE9 and it turned out to be the issue with some graphic-card/VGA drivers. Find out the reported issue and its resolution on connect.microsoft.com/IE

  129. Throne says:

    There are a lot of windows users who want win8 on a normal desktop/laptop PC not on a tablet. This rotation thing don't care very much because I have a normal PC. You always show tablet-windows 8. Why don't you show desktop version? For desktop users there aren't innovative ideas and big developments. There is only ribbon UI and that's all. Others just Metro. And if you really listen to people, change Metro UI just a little bit because it's not a "charming" UI. I mean not that "oh I don't care – then I see it – "oh I like it, it's very good and modern, I need it". It is such "Not the best, no extra, it doesn't say anything to me, I don't care, I like my iPad or Android".

    Otherwise this is my tolerance for tablets, here is my real opinion: tablets hasn't got future! They are big to a mobile, little to a PC and with touchscreen you can't use some good programs. That would be good in the future, after 5-6 years when there are hologram screens from a mobile-sized device. And you overlook PCs and you misjudge a tablet: every company want a tablet that can do what PCs, but you think a tablet as a mobile.

    If you're really care our opinions you think about this.


    — Throne

  130. No Longer Persuadable says:

    Given your responses to comments on the Start screen, I'm surprised you didn't just decide to, oh, support portrait-only because that's what phones do and only people who are afraid of change are not going to embrace portrait-only and who cares about them anyway.

  131. thanks for your replies regarding my posts its nice to know someone is reading them hehe x

    my point realy is just everything is focused on metro at the moment and i want to know whats new in windows 8 itself and if any of the new metro features apply to the desktop experience.  if metro is going to be the only big update to windows then to me metro feels more like a piece of software that could have easilly been added to windows 7 and windows 8 isnt realy a new OS at all. it would be nice is microsofts bloggers could forget metro for a moment and tell us about new features in windows 8 itself as a whole if that makes any sense at all.

  132. @Amy Gx

    Acutally, I'd like to see a post about turning Metro off or making it work in a fundamentally different way than it does in a developer preview (with the desktop as the primary UI and the Start Screen not covering everything up completely).

  133. FuturePastNow says:

    This looks like it's shaping up to be a great tablet OS. Good job to the folks working on this portrait/landscape rotation.

    Still won't be using Metro on any other kind of PC, though. You are out of your minds with this "new kind of device" silliness.

  134. Xero says:

    @Throne, both have different approaches:

    Apple grouped Desktop/Laptop with macOS and mobile/tablet with iOS

    Microsoft grouped Desktop/Laptop/tablet with windOS and wpOS for mobile.

    IMO, MS approach is much better coz today tablets got enough h/w resources to fathom the heavy-lifting OS tasks. You could have your own POV!

  135. David says:

    I have a strange question. You put all this effort into optimizing your Metro for touch but you have the UI start on the lower left? Most people are right handed meaning they will have to move their right hand over the screen. Should you not add an option to reverse the UI so it will work better for right and left handed people?

    As for non-touch screen computers, I suggest you remove Metro. I have used it and can honestly say that no matter how much you tweak it, it will never function well with a mouse and keyboard. you are just wasting time and money trying.

  136. @all says:

    Metro to Desktop transition is away by pressing one key-combination => WindowKey+D. And you guys are trolling and arguing so much because you dont wana press one extra key-combo? Please stop bitching!

  137. @@all

    Your comment is hardly appropriate for a place like this. It definitely violates the rules of comments for this blog. As for the complaining, you have apparently missed the point of what we are trying to say. The changes made in Windows 8 do much more than simply add one extra key press to get to the desktop (which shouldn't be true anyway). The part that bothers me is that Microsoft suddenly consideres the desktop and everything that runs in it "legacy" and acts like Metro is the future, which is clearly wrong. Also, many things that used to work in the desktop now do not because of the Start Screen and other various changes that were made ot the UI, and this isn't like a "moving buttons" type of scenario. Why do I have to browse to the EXE just to add a shortcut to the desktop? That's what people did in the Windows 95 era. Also, most drag-and-drop UI has been eliminated, resulting in many Windows 95-like methods replacing what Windows 7 does.

  138. Hey everybody, you've got choice.   Use the desktop asll you want.   Metro does not prevent you from doing that.

    Microsoft is only doing what is necessary to prevent the tablet market from being taken over by barely capable equipment.   It goes like this, and Microsoft knows this as well as anybody.

    o We must have touch

    o We must have a viable tablet offering

    o We must have desktop support

    o We must have server support

    o Syncing things through the cloud is the future.  We applied it to Windows Phone, and now it will come to the desktop, XBox 360, etc.

    Everything here shows that Microsoft is going this job very well.   Steven, especially, is showing that Microsoft is making a tablet and everything else capable operating system, full of changes for the better from its core to the UI.  

    People who beliieve that Windows 8 is only for tablets or that Metro is the only new thing in the O/S are not reading the posts.   I suggest you go to the "Building Windows 8" top level and look at the list.

    And Metro does work just fine in the desktop.  I am a developer and power user on Windows and use the desktop everyday.  I am not "put off" by the better search that the start screen offers, nor put out by the fact that my start screen is a living, updated thing that lets me know what is going on in the world, instead of just showing me a list of programs I might use to retrieve the information.

    I do agree that the Windows 8 rotation as shown in the video can use some work.  We need to balance between "more responsive" and "overzealous".   I like the animation in Windows Phone, so I hope that Windows 8 will do something like that eventually.

    Keep up the great work, Microsoft team.

  139. @Chief Scientist

    I've already explained why this "use the desktop all you want" model doesn't exist in Windows 8, though I sure wish it did! See the comment directly above yours for more information, and check out this froum post.


  140. @all

    Maybe you like key-combination-shortcuts – well I don't and they will never come back on the desktops of my company.

    What you defend is archaic, back to DOS, back to the middle ages.

    We are in for progress, not for regression.

  141. B. Zander says:

    @WindowsVista567, What? Can you highlight your actual concerns with Metro? Making Windows 95 analogy with Metro UI is uncool! You always get lost in your comments while explaining things. First decide what do you want rather what should be removed, so the actual issue doesn't get mixed up with follies! Like many people have this issue with Start Screen:


    Start Menu is gone and Start Screen replaced it. Please bring back the Start Menu!


    You see there is no problem with 'having metro in OS', as this is an addition. Many people like Metro UI but its at the WRONG PLACE. If this additional thing disturbs their routine work (which it definately  does: like pressing Window Key brings Start Screen rather Start Menu!) this will be a flop! Now, it depends upon the vendor's decision if they completely wana drop Start Screen or have it as an option or make it default for touch-screens only etc.

  142. narkaah says:

    windowsvista567 the desktop  DOES EXIST IN WINDOWS 8.

  143. @B. Zander

    I didn't give a huge explanation here because I've already done that, and I don't want to take up more comment space with comments about Metro on this post. My comment directed at Chief Scientist contains a link to my forum post "A List of Problems with Metro, and Redesign Recommendations" that contains an exhaustive list of everything wrong with Metro and what I would do differently.

  144. @narkaah

    I know about the desktop in Windows 8, and I have used it more than I have used Metro, but the "use the desktop all you want" usage model does not exist, for obvious reasons. If you don't know what I mean, you can download the Developer Preview and try it for yourself. It's impossible to actually use the PC without being forced back into the full-blown Metro experience. I have already explained how this could be changed without bringing back the Windows Vista Start Menu.

  145. Xero says:

    @B. Zander: "Start Menu is gone and Start Screen replaced it. Please bring back the Start Menu!"

    That's it? There is lot more than that if you want to summarize various concerns of people with Metro thus far.

    For example:

    1. Provide option to turn off Metro as a DEFAULT-UX (of course not to uninstall the Metro environment!).

    2. When Metro is off as a default env., Windows 7-like Start Menu should be there with search and all that.

    3. While Metro is off as default env., it can still be accessed like Windows Media Center, Zune etc. So I can use the Metro apps on demand.

    4. Give choice for rotation effects: like fade-in/fade-out (the default) or the natural rotation effect (like happens in smartphones: windowsphone / android / ipad / iphone etc.).

    5. In Metro, increase the max limit to snap 4 apps at a time, with same two sizes (full and compact views) for developers to take care of — rather making it more cumbersome for them. Make OS just resize the content on full-view when 4 apps are snapped. If 3 apps are snapped, then use the compact-view for all 3 of them. For 2 apps and even single, its already done!

    IMO, to make everyone happy; MS should provide more and more customization in Control Panel. Also, there can be a little wizard at the end of Windows 8 installation, something like: "How would you like Windows 8 to appear? View Predefined Samples or Customize"

    I hope someone from Microsoft is still reading!

  146. @Xero

    Windows Media Center has an option to load automatically on Windows startup. If Media Center can do this, the Desktop in Windows 8 should also be able to do this.  Media Center is essentially an older version of a Metro-style app, and is in many ways a predecessor to Windows 8's Metro design (though clearly not the same). Microsoft knew that Media Center could never replace Windows Media Player or other programs that do the same thing, because Media Center was primarily designed for TV remotes. Hopefully, they will decide that a touch-first UI for mice is as bad as a remote-first one.

  147. Stefan says:

    I saw someone online compared MetroUi with Windows 1.0. He wrote that both were childish, ugly and unusable ! I agree. 😀

  148. Stefan says:

    It would be great if there could be a choice when installing Windows 8 to NOT install Metro at all. I mean i would never use it in my companies anyway, so why should it even be there ?

  149. There may also be some value in comparing the usability problems of Metro to the problems in designing Microsoft Office with "Immersive Experiences."


  150. P.S. I know that that comment is completely random and off-topic, but it does support my arguments.

  151. Eli says:

    Why the virtual keyboard is so small? Instead of leaving empty black space on the sides, use all the space.

  152. Xero says:

    @WindowsVista567, the way they presented and connected the metro and desktop worlds — by substituting start-menu with start-screen — is certainly confusing and not easy to digest.

    I agree, WMC and Zune are the first-class examples of metro style apps in desktop environment. Now, let's say, 'metro environment' or 'metro world' is a brand new and most significant concept of Windows 8 and there shouldn't be an option to just turn it on/off to make it a default env. Even then there can be many alternate approaches. For example; by making start-menu persistent for desktop environment and providing an option like:

    When windows starts: "Land in Desktop world" OR "Land in Metro world"

    Finally, make the transition from Desktop to Metro by dragging the screen from left-to-right or provide an icon in the notification area (regardless to which option was selected).

    Although there is no official word which signifies that the win-team is going to change the Metro decision, but I believe they shall come up with something better in the next preview.

    @User Experience Team – Microsoft:

    In personalization/customization if we have a choice in rotation effects (like animated organic motion in smartphones), it would definitely count as a valued feature!

    Moreover, give developers the leeway to describe their own effects (perhaps via XAML) while handling the corresponding events like rotation-begin, rotating and rotation-end etc.

  153. thegooduser says:

    Note1: The transition from one orientation to another is waaay too long – at least make it be configurable.  I simply have no time to wait and look at the screen while Win8 is deciding whether or not to rotate the view for me.

    Note2: Over the years, my co-workers and I have found that anything that automatically hides/slides out of view is not a productive use of our time – the taskbar works because it is always there, in the same place.  The notification icons work for the same reason – one glance and I can see if/what needs attention.  With Metro, things that are hidden are simply not going to get used – or – will make the workflow that much more unbearable as to quickly check on something, you have to JUMP OUT of what you are currently doing.

    No more quick glances to check the status of your system – instead, now we need our full and undivided attention to the minutest of tasks.

    This is the 'deal-breaker' for us in a Win8 + Forced Metro/Start Menu workflow.

  154. @Xero

    Your suggestions would certianly solve Windows 8's problems, but I like my "Metro Apps in a Window" idea better. Of course, there's nothing wrong with your idea, and it would certainly fix the broken Windows 8.

    @Steven Sinofsky

    After using both Metro and Windows Media Center, I honestly think that Media Center's control model is better for desktop users, it just needs to be faster. Media Center doesn't require special click actions to see the UI, but the program is still "chromeless" overall. It is one of the best examples of how a Metro-style app should be designed for mice (but is still not as good as a desktop app like Windows Media Player).

  155. My (exaggerated?) opinion says:

    Metro minus Desktop=New and exciting era

    Desktop minus Metro=Status quo

    Desktop plus Metro=A bizarre world

    Metro means a new era, but it also means an unknown zone. If you put Desktop on user's hands at the same time than Metro that will means that users will choice a comfortable and known  zone to get the job done. No  matter how many useful apps will be there ready for Metro: most people instinctively will choice Desktop to get jobs done. If that is so, Metro will be to Windows as Gadgets was to Desktop…

  156. I'd like to see a better animation/transition when changing from Portrait to Landscape…the fade isn't quite slick enough.

  157. This post made me think of ISO paper sizes, which use a height-to-width ratio equal to the square root of 2 (√2≈1.414:1). If you put two of these pages next to each other on the long edge, the resulting page will have the same height:width ratio. For screens, this ratio would mean you could run a "dual-inline-portrait-mode" – essentially a landscape mode made up of two portrait modes running side-by-side – where each halfscreen portrait has the same √2:1 ratio as portrait mode running fullscreen. The consequences of this height:width ratio for stacking multiple screens to make one large virtual screen might be interesting. The scaling affect might also be interesting in terms of its advertising potential. en.wikipedia.org/…/File:A_size_illustration2.svg

    @WindowsVista567: "After using both Metro and Windows Media Center, I honestly think that Media Center's control model is better for desktop users, it just needs to be faster. Media Center doesn't require special click actions to see the UI, but the program is still "chromeless" overall. It is one of the best examples of how a Metro-style app should be designed for mice (but is still not as good as a desktop app like Windows Media Player)."

    Interesting comment. As i argued @ blogs.msdn.com/…/reflecting-on-your-comments-on-the-start-screen.aspx – when apps are rendering content within Start, you will most likely want web browser style navigation controls, which would be getting closer to the Media Center style interface you prefer.

  158. Paul Coddington says:

    The implications of abandoning true multi-tasking have me concerned.  Only 2 applications at a time (or rather 1 and a 1/2 applications at a time)?  Not a problem if the desktop is always there in the future, but will it be deprecated?  I can see so many positive points for portable devices, but professional desktop users seem to be on the way out in the current path taken (and I don't think they should be).

    This is so different to people being mindlessly upset about progress – when Win95 came along to replace Win31, most people saw the advantages and no features were being lost.  Here the critics are not against change, they have legitimate concerns about losing key functionality. Yet, they are derided by people who are obviously game players and Twitterers, who have never used a PC for real work and are easily seduced by fancy graphics with no substance (some of these posts read like they are written by 8 year olds).

    I like Metro for portable devices, but I would prefer to have an option to window it on a desktop machine and have the original Windows 7 style power and flexibility.

    As an aside, I see Microsoft is dropping Desktop Gadgets – again, here is something that Metro cannot do being taken away under the guise of Windows 8 replacing it (Metro cannot display notification tiles on the desktop while you work).  It is sad, because Desktop Gadgets have been so useful.

  159. @Paul Coddington says:

    Not only Windows 8 – developers preview got gadgets and themes like Windows 7, it got even improved gadgets …like incorporating location service in weather gadget! Now c'mon guys! Only metro sucks on desktop PCs not everything.. pleaseeee!!!

  160. @Paul

    Those "game players and twitters" are the majority, you're the minority and your lucky Microsoft isn't dumping your ass completely.

  161. @BumbleBritches57: I get the joke, and I like it, but it also raises some serious questions.

    Yes, the various form factor devices outstrip sales of PCs but here are some questions that only Microsoft knows the answer at the moment: Where is the majority of income coming from? Are the business sales so bad? Microsoft Office and Windows stopped being the cash cow once were?

    So why is Microsoft moving away from the business space and into the Facebook, Twitter and Angry Birds space so hastily? From the looks of it, Windows 8 is about to make the transition and burn lots of bridges in the process. Is Windows 8 one off so they can make a “statement” that they can compete in that space too and Windows 9 will try again to cover both markets?

    Where does this leave us as business developers? Are we going to be developing Twitting type apps for our business customers and hope they all feel the need to be hip (so we will not end up going out of business)?

    Should we be looking at other OSes that provide business solutions because Microsoft is not interested in that space anymore?

    And of course the most important question of all is why they cannot just provide for both markets, since they do have the technology? Why do they have to present the Metro UI as the Windows Evolution when most of us can see they are worlds apart?

    Only one answer is already given though, 2012 will be one of the most interesting year in the OS Wars and lots of arguments will be settled by the end of that year.

  162. @Mil_

    i personally think Microsoft is have a mid life crisis. the obvious solution would be to use Windows Phone X as a tablet OS and to improve Windows 8 like they have, minus Metro UI (but keep WinRT)

  163. Personally, I Have an iPhone, so i'm used to the interface style, but i will not use that interface on a computer. I'm moving to Mac when Apple releases the 2012 redesign with Ivy Bridge anyway. *shrugs*

    i feel like theirs more to say, but i can't think of it. when i remember it i'll ramble like always 🙂

  164. @BumbleBritches57:

    Yep, I also agree WinRT seems to be is the right answer to the WPF/Silverlight/WindowsForms/Win32/COM mess we are entangled to all these years. It is shaping up to be the “next gen” approach to Windows programing so I hope it is what we expect it to be and it succeeds.

    And I also agree that they have a mid-life crisis but I would add that it is verging into schizophrenia when it comes to the desktop. Through the history of Windows I could always read between the lines and understand what is just marketing hype and what is real. Now I am really confused, it is the first time where I am feeling the need we need to add not only designers in our dev teams but also some psychiatrists.

    I have a Windows Phone 7 which I am very happy with so far. But obviously I do have to reconsider now that when I look at its Metro UI it reminds me of what is coming to the desktop and I don’t like it.

  165. Sarah Jason says:

    Fade in – Fade out effect is not enough for user experience. There must be more effects as an option!

  166. <i>@mil_ & @BumbleBritches57</i>

    In make an simple diagnosis, yhea we following new trends quite easily these days.

    Say we would be immune against things that influencing our lives like twitter, facebook and new stuff.

    That would be a pretty skew conception and includes basically everyone, almost like poison – as more exposed of toxic's as more damage. Same with other types of influences as well, anything we take impression from in both good and bad.  Of course different from case to case.

    In speak of the "cash cow", I suppose only because there might be "a lot of gold" somewhere it doesn't mean it always a piece of cake in get to the goal. I think what is seen right now are one fair proof on that. It's much easier to stay in the store for Microsoft and selling consumer products like phones than shoulder the bigger responsibility in being an multinational important software provider. I don't know but as closer a company reaching that point in become that big, they change from being a company searching for profits in a traditional sense of way and reach an higher acceptable limit where it doesn't work anymore.


    Haven't changed my mind when it comes for windows 8 after almost one month testing.

    It could be better on a desktop if the strong influences from phones wasn't included.

    Leave the tablets out of my sight please!

  167. Fred_M says:

    I could see this being very useful on a desktop if done right, I know alot of guys at my work have dual monitors with one monitor in landscape and the other portrait. Seems like Win8 would work well with this type of setup.

  168. Vinu says:

    Please vote for "Cursor in windows phone dialer' to allow editing: windowsphone.uservoice.com/…/2294827-cursor-in-phone-dialler-to-allow-editing

    Must have feature!!

  169. contextfree says:

    Only quasi-on-topic, but this post does show different views of the Start screen, and there's some discussion of Snap, so:

    I'm curious if you've considered implementing a Snap view of the Start and (non-third-party-app) Search screens. It seems that could address some of the concerns people have about wanting to keep context when starting a new app (especially for desktop apps that can be closely tied together and used together on the same task) while keeping some of the advantages of the new screens (and making it easy and smooth to switch between Snap and fullscreen views) and staying within the Win8 design paradigm. If it's useful and appropriate for third parties to implement Snap views of their apps, why not Start?

  170. Xero says:

    @Torsten TBL, more on metro environment on various form-factors is being discussed at: social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/b822c546-bf05-4cf9-b0a5-9cca3c1b404d Let's put the complaints and suggestions pertaining to Metro UX in one place. As mentioned in a post, Windows team is also watching that thread.

    – Real McCoy

  171. I DO LIKE that Microsoft is trying to tie the Phone/Tablet/Desktop together, but the solution they have simply _*DOES NOT WORK*_

  172. Stefan says:

    Phone UI belongs on phones, tablet UI belong on tablets and desktop UI on desktops. They don't have anything to do with each other at all. No matter who trie to combine them. This will sink Microsoft when it comes operatingsystems for desktops. Everyone in the corporate environment say that Windows 8 will be the biggest, and maybe last failure by Microsoft, ever. I fear that to. We have too few that create operatingsystems that people can handle in a simple way. Linux will not replace Windows on common users desktops. I doubt even gamers want Linux. I do still not understand why they are so incredible stubborn to continue with this BS, at least for desktops. Many have warned in their comments but they don't listen at all. Too bad, but to the Windows team i only say:'Good luck finding a new job !'

  173. Amore amore says:

    I think there are too few improvements in the desktop part of Windows 8, especially for Windows 7 users. Not enough to ask for its usual medium/high price.

    Tablet users will find it already installed, ok. Or they will buy an iPad. Desktop users will stick with Windows 7, or, better, with a Mac.

  174. @contextfree

    In response to your query. Agree absolutely with your idea, it wouldn't be wrong having an functionality similar as described. While waiting for an real answer from someone that do know more……..

    Perhaps it's already noticed, there is one feature under development for working with multi-tasking and switching between open Apps in the Metro interface. All this in the developer preview including Snap, so we basically having an feature already there built inside by swipe windows from the left and keeping them separated side by side on the screen. Something tells me this is how it's going to appear in the end as well. One reason of this would be, the Snap feature itself has to work from the foundation of Metro or else it has to be based from nowhere. And like I see it here,  these particular mentioned screens are one part of this core and therefor doesn't have equality with App's.  Anyway hope the explanation was helpful somehow.

  175. Dear Mr. Sinofsky,

    It's nice to see that special attention is brought to portrait support for windows 8.  As a tip I would urge you to consider this on any OS building for a tablet, as a tablet will be used for tasks in both landscape AND portrait. This is also from a personal experience. Keep up the good work.

    I think it is good to consider an analysis of the screen rotation and dimensions of the portrait and landscape mode. Although the 16:9 aspect ratio in landscape mode gives a better experience to the enduser in terms of movie aspect ratio and more content to the screen, in portrait mode the 4:3 ratio aspect will be considered the best. In the latter case the argument for this is that a long portrait content format is too overwhelmingly long. It causes the reader to read shorter lines and gives the experience of a never ending text. In 4:3 the text is spread over a wider line, thus making the reading more continues from left to right and in which a contect fits better on one page, thus also giving the impression of a less longer text document. Also with regard to pictures in protrait the 4:3 ratio aspect will give a better complete picture, thus decreasing the illusion of a stretched photo or photo with the side cut off.

    Another argument for the 4:3 aspect ratio in both landscape and portrait is that this mimics the aspect ratio of A4 paper. This is a more natural set of dimensions when one wants to to write or draw with digital ink on the screen. For portrait mode the screen real estate of 16:10 and 16:9 is just too narrow and negatievely influences the end user experiences. Although one could think of cutting the dimensions of the screen in portrait mode to 4:3 is defeats the purpose. In portrait mode you want to be able to use the WHOLE SCREEN.

    Thus I would plight for a resolution that supports a minimum for windows 8 apps, but does not compromise the portrait experience. The portrait experience and productivity is just as important as landscape, especially for tablets!  If you can do that, you've got a great product!

  176. Dear Mr. Sinofsky,

    It's nice to see that special attention is brought to portrait support for windows 8.  As a tip I would urge you to consider this on any OS building for a tablet, as a tablet will be used for tasks in both landscape AND portrait. This is also from a personal experience. Keep up the good work.

    I think it is good to consider an analysis of the screen rotation and dimensions of the portrait and landscape mode. Although the 16:9 aspect ratio in landscape mode gives a better experience to the enduser in terms of movie aspect ratio and more content to the screen, in portrait mode the 4:3 ratio aspect will be considered the best. In the latter case the argument for this is that a long portrait content format is too overwhelmingly long. It causes the reader to read shorter lines and gives the experience of a never ending text. In 4:3 the text is spread over a wider line, thus making the reading more continues from left to right and in which a contect fits better on one page, thus also giving the impression of a less longer text document. Also with regard to pictures in protrait the 4:3 ratio aspect will give a better complete picture, thus decreasing the illusion of a stretched photo or photo with the side cut off.

    Another argument for the 4:3 aspect ratio in both landscape and portrait is that this mimics the aspect ratio of A4 paper. This is a more natural set of dimensions when one wants to to write or draw with digital ink on the screen. For portrait mode the screen real estate of 16:10 and 16:9 is just too narrow and negatievely influences the end user experiences. Although one could think of cutting the dimensions of the screen in portrait mode to 4:3 is defeats the purpose. In portrait mode you want to be able to use the WHOLE SCREEN.

    Thus I would plight for a resolution that supports a minimum for windows 8 apps, but does not compromise the portrait experience. The portrait experience and productivity is just as important as landscape, especially for tablets!  If you can do that, you've got a great product!

  177. @Stefan

    Think we speak the same language in more than one way 🙂

    Seems like this release is quite a lot of interests in tablets and phones.

    But there are one fact that still remains, Windows 7 are not forgotten yet.

    Especially not in discussion of marketing from Microsoft point of view.

    When comes around, that's where it's gonna end for the most of desktop users in the long run.

    Windows 8 ? A risky remarkable project in catching tablet users living on the edge five o'clock.

  178. @Amore amore says:

    Mac is a nightmare compared to Windows 7!

  179. @wevenhuis

    Thanks for your feedback and comments. Windows 8 has been designed to work on a variety of different screens and aspect ratios. Some people may choose a 16:9 widescreen tablet so they can watch fullscreen video without letterboxing, but you are open to choose a different shaped screen, whether it be 16:10 or 4:3. Regarding multitasking with snap, as long as there are 1366 horizontal pixels across snap is supported, regardless of aspect ratio.

    Thanks for reading the article and participating!

  180. kevin206 says:

    I think the biggest problem from the demo video is that the titles or no longer in the same ordering when switched to portrait mode. In fact, the titles don't seem to follow any convention. For an icon-grid method, the icons are always in the same order.

    See pic here: http://imgur.com/HxM7S

    How will Microsoft resolve this?

    Does the user have to manually arrange their titles for landscape and portrait mode?

  181. @kevin206 they maximize the frame. See in landscape mode there are 3 rows and in portrait, its 5. They are still in order just like in landscape mode.. Follow the tile pattern.

  182. tom says:

    Dear Mr. Sinofsky,

    I think that Windows 8 should have imagines burning e.g. iso=6GB that can be recorded for 2 DVD

    I apologize for errors in spelling

  183. Wolf says:

    @Steve Sinofsky

    I found a big flaw in Windows Tablets. I was playing with a Windows 7 Tablet useing Adobe Photo Shop. (and they say tablets are for comsuming content) Windows 7 & 8 Tablets will bring a hole new meaning to Building Content on the fly. Running VB.net on a tablet..now that kicks ass. Its nice to finaly see a tablet that is useible and expanible, That is not locked into a App Only Store.

    I can Hook up any USB OPtical Drive and install any media/software I want to on a tablet. Yes!! I even hooked in a USB keyboard & mouse and even played Call ot Duty 1 on it.. It ran Flawless to with no graphic lag (gasp)… Take that Android, Ios, Rim.

    (I did that on a Asus 10.1 inch, AMD c-501 ghz, 2 gig Memory, 30 GIG hdd, (video card chipset unknowen, can't remmember name. How ever it did rate 4.9 Graphics, 5.5 Gaming Graphics.)


    How do I crtl-alt-del into the taskmanger when ether the system locks up or a app locks up and Im unable to bring up the Touch KeyBoard?

    I think windows  Tablets will not only need a windows Logo button but a Task manger button as well in case of such issues when they will happen.

  184. Wolf says:

    Also Setting up a Ad-hoc network on a tablet I was able to do lan games over the wireless (tested with COD 1 @ Halo PC)

    I was also able to access my printer and print right from the device to Wireless Router to wired printer from anywere in the house

    A few other things I manage to get away with.. I pluged my Wired 360 Pad into the usb on the tablets.. Gaming on a tablet via pad works well (tested with  Tourch Light)

    Tested USB DVD writer Via USB port runing Nero (WORKS WELL)

    Able to Copy my Canon DSLR Photos to pc VIA MicroSB slot.

    I was Photo Editing with Adobe Photo Shop CS 5.5 and that works extreamly well even with touch interface.. Getting fine pixel editing worked well via USB mouse as well.

    I Loaded VB.Net and did some coding with it as well. Touch Keybord can be a hit and miss when trying to type real quick. Found that pluging in a keybaord via USB port worked extreamly well.

    Streamed Video and music from my Windows Server 2003. NO lag!!

    BEST THING  I LIKED ABOUT THE HOLE EXPRINCE WITH THE WINDOWS 7 TABLET. FULL DESKTOP RIGHT FROM LOGIN. Felt like a real pc in my hands. With out all the ugly large ICONS. A Clean Desktop and all apps that I could through on it as long as it was built for windows x86


    I finally Found what a REAL tablet SHOULD BE

    USB PORTS (2 or more )

    MicroSD card Reader is a must

    CPU = X86  or x64 for full software compaiblity

    Decent Dedicated Graphic card (for decent on the go gaming)

    2GIG + memory

    Bigger HDD then 30 GIG would be nice.

  185. wolf says:

    FYI this is the tablet I refuring to that I played with.



  186. Amore amore says:

    @anonymous comment: Windows is a nightmare, any version. Get a Mac. Relax.

  187. swythan says:

    @David Washington (RE: @Kirill)

    The problem with ClearType on a rotated screen is that current methods of rotating the screen (Win 7 and below) mean that the system doesn't take account of the sub-pixel layout having been changed. That means that it renders as if the sub-pixels are arranged horizontally in RGB order (for example), whereas they are actually arranged vertically (for a 90 or 270 degree rotation) or even in BGR order (for a 180 degree rotation).

    That makes ClearType actually look inherently worse than non-ClearType (as it is optimising for the wrong layout), so you have to turn it off on systems that get rotated a lot.

    As Win8 is animating through the rotation, I'm hoping that means the rotation is happening in the DWM or similar, not the driver, so there's a hope that the rendering engine knows it is rendering rotated text, rather than it rendering and then having the output rotated on the way to the monitor (as seems to happen now).

  188. @Microsoft

    I know it's off topic, but for the Windows App Store, you MUST make NATIVE UI a REQUIREMENT. ugh, iTunes and Photoshop not only look bad, but their very slow because they aren't using DWM or any of the Aero optimizations. PLEASE MAKE THIS A REQUIREMENT.

  189. Even Steve Jobs thinks Balmer has to go…

    wll you people finally fire this idiot?

  190. SuperJaycee13 is right, but Kevin206 still makes a relevant point. In portrait, tiles still follow a pattern, but this pattern is rather unproductive. In section “Taking advantage of spatial arrangement on the Start screen” of Marina Dukhon’s post, we have been (rightly) told that creating “a heterogeneous layout where shapes and sizes vary from group go group […] makes it easier to find a tile when you know it’s in a small group with an uneven edge on its right side or in a large group that looks like a full rectangle.” In the demo shown, the reordering of groups, however, lose their customized layout.

    My suggestion: on portrait, simply bring two groups one above the other. See my mock-ups (under Windows 8Landscape vs. Portrait):


  191. Latest thoughts.

    Firstly, I want to express my deep appreciation of this blog. I’m thankful that the Windows team—and even the president of the Windows division—devote so much time to read and answer our comments. I can imagine that there are a lot of things going on right now at Microsoft. Secondly, I want to say that I am trying to keep in mind where the WDP stands in the whole process. Since we haven’t seen the beta yet, I really understand that we ought to be patient and give Microsoft a chance to convince us all. Thirdly, B8 has shown us a great number of exciting things about Metro as well as about the Desktop. It is pretty obvious that the Windows team members have dedicated themselves to rethinking the next Windows from top to bottom. And I wouldn’t want to underestimate all those brilliant changes they brought to Windows 8. In short: keep up the great work!

    Now, let me try to put what worries me in its true perspective. Undoubtedly, the Metro UI looks great, and the Start screen shows promise. It now seems to me that the combining of the Start screen with the Apps search list (both in their improved beta version, yet to see) is an overall winning strategy. I’m even fine with the Start Search insofar as it only replaces the Search box in Windows 7’s Start menu, in other words: insofar as Windows Explorer still supports a comprehensive search experience.

    When it comes to pointing out what really worries me, the Search case just mentioned offers a good starting point. It is only when I realized that the Start Search wouldn’t replace the Explorer Search that I came to be okay with it. Now I get it: the Start search doesn’t want/need to be as efficient as the Explorer Search, since both coexist and both serve different purposes.

    How, then, am I supposed to understand the similar coexistence, in Windows 8, of the Desktop multitasking and the Metro multitasking? Will the new Metro multitasking platform let the Desktop peacefully cohabit with it (or rather in it) insofar as they both serve different purposes? Or is Metro intended to become, in a near future, the new exclusive way of interacting with apps? I would say that, in themselves, both options are theoretically unproblematic and workable. Big questions arise, however, precisely when it comes to carrying them out. And this is where Windows 8 worries me.

    I have absolutely no problem with the current Metro multitasking platform IF it is not intended to eventually absorb the Desktop, but “only” to support a different kind of apps (in short: phone and tablet apps). Apps aiming at “consumption of content” could be run as Metro apps, but apps used for “creation of content” and requiring a fully-fledged multitasking experience could still run on the Desktop.

    But IF Metro is to become the sole platform for all future apps, then there is a serious problem with the current Metro multitasking experience. Let me be clear: the problem is not Metro in itself. I can easily picture a Metro Microsoft Word. Any app could run in Metro. The problem lies elsewhere, that is, in the obvious limits of the Metro multitasking platform. Full screen, rigid split screen display (with its fixed counterproductive ratio), Swipe: all these features have simply no relevance in a “professional” computing world (for lack of a better word).

    I see two main solutions.

    1) Make the Desktop the default multitasking platform again. This would require developing Metro apps as Desktop apps (on the Windows Media Center model). But I guess this solution goes in the direction opposite to what the Windows is trying to do.

    2) Give the Metro platform all the multitasking flexibility we are used to find in the Desktop. By doing this you would eventually carry us to a point where the Desktop wouldn’t be needed anymore. But the current rigidity of the Metro multitasking platform renders such a future nearly impossible. This, of course, would require to “complicate” things for developers. But probably not that much (I offer a suggestion below), and I’m convinced that it would be worth it for developers as well as for users.

    The big problem with the current WDP is that it seems to opt for neither solution: on the one hand, the Metro platform is too rigid and oversimplified to be promising regarding multitasking; on the other hand, since Metro apps can’t be run as windowed apps on the Desktop, it seems to us that the Desktop multitasking experience is flawed. That leads us to hope that those apps we are mainly working with (apps for “creation of content”) won’t ever be rewritten to become Metro apps.

    One last thing. It seems crucial to the Windows team that the Metro multitasking should switch between two fixed displays: full screen and 320px. Here is my suggestion. Let’s keep this general structure. But let’s add to it a more flexible split experience. I think the closest experience would be that of the Zune window management. This is worth the try: when one resizes the Zune window using the mouse, one can go from full screen to something like 734×500 pixels; then, when one tries to make the window smaller, the Zune window automatically converts itself to the Miniplayer. Now, I think one could do the same thing with Metro apps. There would, then, be three possible horizontal displays: full screen, reduced full screen (with scrollbars), and 320px. And two possible vertical displays: full screen, and reduced full screen (with scrollbars). See my mock-ups (under Windows 8Metro Multitasking):


    All these considerations are intended to feed a hopefully forthcoming Windows post on multitasking. Thanks in advance for taking our questions in account.

  192. @BumbleBritches57

    "Even Steve Jobs thinks Balmer has to go…"

    Even if he thought that am not sure he knew what he was saying.

    I mean he was sick and everything and imagine what all that means.

    Sometimes there's pros in collaborate with less gifted individuals.

    For instance easier to manipulate than sharp minded peoples.

    I think we shall be grateful for having Ballmer, next time can be more worse.

    But understand your point indeed:)

  193. Greg says:

    @BumbleBritches57 I don't – I happen to think that Steve Ballmer is very intelligent and has a broad range of knowledge across all of the Microsoft products and business – he understands the ecosystem very well and can provide insight on not just Windows and the main consumer orientated products like Xbox, Office or Windows Phone  – but also business tools like Dynamics CRM, ERP, Visual Studio, Windows server advances including the new Azure opportunities, certainly a lot more serious product knowledge than any one of the competitors.  I think for such an important role Microsoft needs someone like Steve Ballmer to provide that rock solid confidence and continuity.

    As for Steve Jobs – just enjoy the Macbook!

  194. I repeat what I said before, is missing Multi-Touch gestures

  195. @Trosten EBL

    ugh, i've been noticing that smart people are dificult to manipulate. ugh. lol

  196. @BumbleBritches57 says:

    Apparently Microsoft allows just about anyone to be a "Partner" …no matter how they publically represent the cumpany, huh?

  197. @BumbleBritches57 says:

    I'm sure the point of that last comment will get overlooked, due to the typo of "company"…   the point still remains though.  It's amazing your are listed as a Microsoft Partner, the way you talk about the company publically on these blogs.  I can't imagine what you say to others…

  198. JorgePerez says:

    Sorry, but could you please let us to choose wether we want smartscreen filtrer or not??? is really anoying for smart users like me.

  199. JorgePerez says:

    Sorry, but could you please let us to choose wether we want smartscreen filtrer or not??? is really anoying for smart users like me.

  200. PC-gangster says:

    @Micrsofot, this BumbleBritches57 son of a ***, how can he be MS's partner? just wondering… @BumbleBritches57 you fukedup guy you watch yourself..you hear me!

  201. @PC-gangster (aka BumbleBritches57) says:

    That's about what we all expected as a response from you… well done.

  202. @BumbleBritches57 says:

    You better keep distance from this blog. pissoff!

  203. pmbAustin says:

    call me crazy, but I think I'd like to see a more "Metro-like" skin for Desktop.  You got a sorta-kinda start in the little menu that pops up when you click the start-orb.  How about squarer windows with thinner chrome, Metro-fonts, a flatter look, lose the transparency… it might make the switch to the Start Screen seem less jarring because at least it'll be in basically the same "design language".

    I know it won't happen, but I think it would be kinda cool.

  204. win8wow says:

    Will there be pen support, because most of us don't want to buy a touch monitor just for a few features.

  205. Will says:

    The only reason I would buy a Windows tablet is if the UI on the tablet was like the normal desktop UI of Win XP.  Otherwise, I'd just buy Android.  What's the point of having it be "Windows" if its crappier than iPad?

  206. win8wow says:

    Will there be pen support, because many of us do not want to buy a touch monitor when we could use the same features via tablet.

  207. win8wow says:

    Will there be pen support, because many of us do not want to buy a touch monitor when we could use the same features via tablet.

  208. win8wow says:

    I don't hear anyone complaining about the windows phone 7.5, and it uses over 80% of Windows 8's features! Stop complaining!

  209. win8wow says:

    I don't hear anyone complaining about the windows phone 7.5, and it uses over 80% of Windows 8's features! Stop complaining!

  210. win8wow says:

    I don't hear anyone complaining about the windows phone 7.5, and it uses over 80% of Windows 8's features! Stop complaining!

  211. Will says:

    fancy UI with a large amount of Metro, if the App Store would open really soon, I would be happy. (Right now it's plain boring)

  212. Will says:

    fancy UI with a large amount of Metro, if the App Store would open really soon, I would be happy. (Right now it's plain boring)

  213. @win8wow says:

    Watch the day1 keynotes on buildwindows.com

    Not only pen, but all kinds of input devices are supported by the OS.

    Win for Windows and Microsoft.

  214. I wish. I just installed a Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet, and none of the windows 8 gestures were suppoted! (It worked when my computer ran Windows 7)

  215. Will says:

    "A Windows 8 PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from small, touch-only tablets to laptops and desktops."

    Where are the screenshots of the desktop version then?

  216. @win8wow says:

    Could be a driver issue. you can watch this in action though: http://www.youtube.com/watch

  217. Will says:

    "I don't hear anyone complaining about the windows phone 7.5"

    Because nobody has one.

  218. @Will says:

    yeah only if you are a troll, you can say that!

  219. Fire Ballmer says:

    Steve Ballmer said Android is difficult to use, muhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah! Laughing a whole day long. You're getting old, time to retire, Mr. Ballmer. @Will: you can't rotate a desktop or a monitor, of course, Win8 is just for tablets… Rotating a monitor is ridiculous, no sensor, no rotation, though.

  220. Will says:

    As for multitasking, why impose standard tablet restrictions on the PC? why not impose PC power on the tablet?

    "Instead of only one app on screen at a time PC users because we're trying to force your computer to be a tablet"  why not "great news tablet users, you can multitask with lots of windows open like on a real Windows system!"  That is why its called WINDOWS, right?  Because you can have lots of "windows" open?  So, how is Windows 8 even "Windows" when it makes your apps fullscreen and you get no "windows"?  You need to rename the OS to  MICROSOFT FULLSCREENS.

  221. Will says:

    "yeah only if you are a troll, you can say that!"

    No, I seriously don't have a Windows Phone 7.5.  But to answer more fully Mr. wowwin8wow's silly question: A phone is tiny.  It makes sense to have a silly UI that can't multitask and on which everything is fullscreen and there are no WINDOWS.  But to remove windowing and make stuff fullscreen on Windows is dumb because its called Windows.  Rename it to Microsoft Fullscreens ™ and be honest and there will be no complaints because they we'll know it isn't Windows.  But if you call it Windows are there are not windows, no ability to have multiple windows open and work in them at once because Metro keeps taking over your Fullscreen, then you are lying.

  222. Greg says:

    I love the windows 8 user interface for the operating system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  223. Greg says:

    I love the windows 8 user interface for the operating system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  224. Will says:

    I think all the people saying they love the interface are Mac fanboys who want Microsoft to fail big time.

  225. @Will says:

    this interface is subjected to change anyways. Microsoft haven't showed the complete set of UIs in developer's preview they have planned for the final release.

  226. Im a PC says:

    @Steven Sinofsky, this comment section needs serious moderation. There is a very less positive criticism brining value to the topic under discussion. Since no one is paying attention to this, its getting worse. Alternatively, you need to provide control to flag the spam in order to make users manage it.

  227. Im a PC says:

    Also, whoever is responsible for rewarding badges like Partner or MVP, should take a survey every now and then from these people for sake of reputation of the company. The non-serious and even worse attitude is spreading by MSFT's own Partners and MVPs on blogs, forums and otherwise.

  228. Im a PC says:

    I hope my comment would be taken as combined feelings of true MS technology professionals who believe in the potent technologies offered by MSFT and condemn the hatred prevailing against the company.

  229. Im a PC says:

    @Steven Sinofsky, this comment section needs serious moderation. There is a very less positive criticism brining value to the topic under discussion. Since no one is paying attention to this, its getting worse. Alternatively, you need to provide control to flag the spam in order to make users manage it.

    Also, whoever is responsible for rewarding badges like Partner or MVP, should take a survey every now and then from these people for sake of reputation of the company. The non-serious and even worse attitude is spreading by MSFT's own Partners and MVPs on blogs, forums and otherwise.

    I hope my comment would be taken as combined feelings of true MS technology professionals who believe in the potent technologies offered by MSFT and condemn the hatred prevailing against the company.

  230. FireRx says:

    Hey Developer. Did the weather app get killed in Window 8 WDP? As of 2 days ago. Crashes the system totally. Lets the folks here know if certain features are being shut off.  Just a suggestion for end user experience.

  231. Positive criticism? you mean patting Microsoft on the back for a job done horribly?

    sorry brah, free speech, and i'll sue just for the attention 🙂

  232. PC gangster really isn't me. lmfao

    i love how much you guys are freaking out because i'm telling the truth. LOLOLOL

  233. this blog has become extremely fun lately. but i'm being very disruptive, i apologize for that. i'll ingore this thread for now on, and if Microsoft want's my opinions, email me at this email addy.

  234. Anonymous says:

    This would look awesome on a netbook, if they supported the Metro desktop (Metro sucks at productivity though)

  235. @BumbleBritches57 says:

    You got some serious problems.. you are a sociopath.. GTFO of my face.

  236. win8wow

    Mon, Oct 24 2011 3:41 PM


    I don't hear anyone complaining about the windows phone 7.5, and it uses over 80% of Windows 8's features! Stop complaining!

    Dude, that's the whole problem.  A desktop computer is not a telephone.  Where have you been?  The entire Windows 8/Metro discussion has been centered about preserving the W7 desktop experience against the wishes of theW8 Team who act as if it's going to be a Metro world.

    If I wanted my desktop to look like a phone or tablet screen I would use Mac Lion.  Unlike MSFT, which (hopefully) apparently cares about users' opinions, Apple just goes ahead and does whatever Jobs and Ives have been fantasizing over as the next brave new world paradigm for all the fanboys to jump into.

  237. Kellerson Kurtz says:


    Sorry for off-post)

    For Desktop ibxk.com.br/…/49908871311237.jpg (no Aero, please)


  238. @Im a PC  — Your comments are appreciated.  Moderating comments brings with it the common calls of editing out comments that are not favorable.  We already see this routinely even though we are not moderating comments and it was just some hiccup in posting the comment.  While we enable anonmyous comments, there's no verification of identity with an ID-based solution so we don't really solve much.

    Our hope is that people would respect community standards and I think for the most part it is.  We can see that the group as a whole is trying to police in a constructive manner.

  239. Glad01 says:

    This comment for all windows 8 things:

    Why can't you do a normal app/program? I know it's the start of windows 8 and store but… you could do a normal app yet! I mean: you do facebook-apps, e-mail apps, twitter-apps, but that's all. You never made (and in this way you won't make in future too) music maker, video maker (for Metro UGLY) and like these.

    Check out this video:


    Don't be suprised if people 60% hate your "new" (WP7-stolen) Metro UI and "new" ideas. You never make apps like this! You only care some e-mail clients but you have to know, this is a mobile-level (that terrible on PC) and a tablet know a bit more than you believe it!

    If you don't make only these e-mail and has-no-sense apps then maybe people more like your apps and "windows" 8.

  240. VistaForeva says:

    Oh I know why I won't buy this windows 8.


    -> Metro UI

    -> It's not good for desktop

    -> I hasn't too much option, app, talent for a tablet (maybe after the windows 9)

    -> And simply you didn't put to it new functions, you put into Metro UI and that really sad! Dear microsoft it's not a mobile it's a desktop PC Os or a Tablet Os, isn't it?

  241. @VistaForeva Maybe for now, you and others who think that Windows 8 is a failure are all misguided. Remember when WDP ships at BUILD, it is a Developer Preview and intended for developers only to work on their metro style apps, simply, it is intended for developers not even for power users (it is NOT feature complete). Hope you guys understand this.. Don't judge an OS on this M3 stage, we'll just need to wait at least until the Beta.

  242. GTFO says:

    Windows 8 is a failure!

    Windows 7 will be the new XP!

    Forcing this app store, huh?

    What kind of application will be in App store?! Angry Birds?! Tetris?!


  243. Here is the job surfaced in Redmond. Probably last Metro guy got prematurely tasered to death while waterboarding a monkey that refused to acknowledge a rectangular green button the most influential design.

    Most likely they are to remedy Metro into Metro V2 or something.

    Entry-Level to Mid-Range UX Researcher to conduct research on touch application experiences for Apps on multiple devices.

    Position Description:

    The Researcher will work as part of a team, which is a fun team full of passionate people. The team will be working in startup mode on tight deadlines, so it is important to be creative about answering questions quickly and iterating on multiple design options.

    This is a brand new division recently started to focus upon creating application experiences across a variety of devices. Additionally, there is a need for someone to help out by running studies and presenting findings.

    As Researchers, the focus is on the customer; i.e. the End User.

    Duties and Responsibilities:

       Translating insights into actionable recommendations with a focus upon iterating design

       Working collaboratively with the Research Lead and the Project Manager

    Additionally, the position is broken up into four parts:

       Getting ready for the study

           Working with Design and PM to understand research questions

           Writing a research plan and getting it approved

           Work with the Recruiting group to get participants

           Preparing the study protocol

       Running the study – Being in the lab for 1-5 days, running the study with participants

       Analyzing the data – Working mainly to analyze qualitative and some basic quantitative data

       Presenting the findings

           Working in PowerPoint to summarize key findings

           Working with Manager to ensure consistent messaging to Leadership team


    Required Skills for this Usability Researcher position include the following:

       Up to 2-3 years of relevant experience

       Master’s Degree in Cognitive Psychology, Human Factors and/or related field

       Solid research skills, including:

           Experimental Design

           Developing research plans

           Collecting and analyzing human behavioral data in a lab setting

       Passion for apps and the future of touch and tablets

       Familiarity with touch interfaces (e.g. iPhone, iPad, other tablets)

       Experience conducting studies involving touch (Mobile or Tablet)

       Experience conducting studies with hardware/software interaction

       Experience with the Software Giant in Redmond

       2-3 years of related work experience in HCI/UX/Usability

    How to Apply – "call" Microsoft.

  244. @Steven Sinofsky:  

    Can you provide us some detail on how we're going to be able to close Metro apps without going to Task Manager?  I know that you said in your 'Evolving the Start menu' that there will be a way, but there hasn't been any details about this.  Will is be easy or discoverable?

    Also, what's the story with multitasking?  Right now, Microsoft is saying that when you leave a Metro app, it gets automatically suspended.  What if I don't want the app to be suspended?   For example, let's say that I'm listening to Pandora and I want to check the weather or the news.  Will my music shut off?  Currently, it does.  

    Please see the following thread:


    Also, will multitasking be different for Microsoft apps and third-party apps in the initial release of Windows 8?

  245. Dan says:

    Just discovered a new "mouse-related" ability in windows 8. Everyone was impressed by the gesture to flick open apps on and off the screen to select the one you want. Well it seems that if you are using a mouse, simply move the mouse over to the left edge of the screen until the thumbnail appears and then scroll the scroll wheel up or down. It cycles through your running apps.


  246. @SuperJaycee13 @Microsoft

    "it is a Developer Preview and intended for developers only to work on their metro style apps, simply, it is intended for developers not even for power users (it is NOT feature complete)………"Don't judge an OS on this M3 stage"

    If you are one of all the guys working for Microsoft, then I have to show my appreciation for participated in this thread. When things goes a bit off topic, it sometimes an expression for other sorts of frustration.

    Wouldn't mind see representatives a bit more involved so people doesn't have to feel left in the wild.

    After all we know Microsoft as one competitor in the business with lots of power and know-how, please show us that. It feels empty in here to be plain. Well, hope you all have the strength in see the criticism from the good side and transforming it in to something wiser.

    As for the comment, when saying there's nothing to worry about in a stage where we are now it's ironic see this kind of statements appear repeatedly. The truth is that the project of this system has been under developing in approximately 2,5 years. 502 builds of compilations has been made of both client and server, might be more or less. We waiting for the final productions of beta and  there after we only have RC until it's time for RTM. That's looking pretty much THE END of the phase if asking.

    Just want to say, thanks for great cooperation in the development of Windows 8.

    If this blog had started earlier and people had a chance be more involved in the process.

    Then we would probably be in a completely different situation where nobody had to suffer.

    That's one of the single most significant evidence that Microsoft don't want to listen.

    Otherwise, why hiding the development for such a long time?

    I don't take these kind of statement for other purpose than saving time.

    Saving time for hidden intentions that only Microsoft has authority to explain 😉

    Why all this hush hush with reservation for so long?  🙂

    Doesn't feels like we playing on equal terms here.

  247. What about my desktop pc???? says:

    OK, Landscape-Portrait it's OK

    Now show me something desktop related,……………please!!!!!!!!!!

  248. Hi all,

    this is not the right place to leave this comment, but I do not

    know how to contact you. Today my w7 said me "good-morning"

    with "1 of 96 updates….", about 30 minutes wait. I know, an updated

    pc is important, but when I start my pc is because I need it now, no after

    30 minutes. In w8 it is possible to split updates and install just few of theme for time?

    Thanks in advance.


  249. @Pino says:

    Change your settings to "Automatically download and install updates". It will not bother you unless requires update. The point is Windows update checks for updates when the system usage is idle. So there is no point to force it at Startup to make the OS load lazy!

  250. @Torsten EBL says:

    Yeah exactly.. like android and apple involved you throughout the development lifecycle! People like you will never get satisfied… Do you even know why you are complaining? I know because for some people its just a hobby.  

  251. I'm sorry if it was taken that way, try see it from a different positive angle.

    Why would everyone be scary just they have an different opinion?

    You see, it's a mistake if you think I'm a fan of Apple Mac or Android.

    But I do care of what happen next in question of all Windows users.

    Including yourself.

    Have a great day where ever you are //Ciao 🙂

  252. spongman says:

    can we get a definitive answer as to whether windows will finally support ClearType properly in portrait mode?

    please don't tell me about LCD sub-pixel orientation, device driver support, or portrait mode usage. DirectWrite does rotated ClearType, as word WinWord.exe, IE9, etc…

    So which is it? Do we still have last-century's rendering technology for portrait mode?

  253. OH MY GAWD!

    Microsoft isn't just putting Windows 8 on ARM as a tablet OS… Their making Windows 8 the Phone OS too!

  254. @Microsoft, while you're at this Multi-Archeticture OS, you should use a FatBinary type package.

  255. NoNoNo says:

    @Microsoft, please don't use a FatBinary type package – I want to download only the one applicable to the system I am on.

    Think of dialup users!

  256. Stefan says:

    Thanks for deleting my latest comments ! Why do You even have this blog when we who are against metroUI on a desktop computer can't express what we feel about it without being attacked by by some people here and get our comments deleted ?

  257. Im a PC says:

    @Steven Sinofsky, thank you Mr. Steven. I would like to bring a very useful discussion under your consideration on a thread here social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/b822c546-bf05-4cf9-b0a5-9cca3c1b404d This might give Windows Team some idea what users think of strengths & weaknesses of Metro UI experience. There is a lot of constructive ideas which bring value to improve Windows OS.

    @Stefan & @BumbleBritches57, lets participate in the ideas gathering on that forum where these suggestions belong 😎 No offense but that place is meant for discussion we all are trying to have!

    Thank you.

  258. David says:

    Most people comment on the use of space but if you take a look at what is already out you would realize the open space makes the OS inviting. Having every inch of your start screen filled with programs is just unappealing and looks too busy. Can't you find Common ground with the old start menu style?

    How about….

    Home button on the lower right side so user can hold the tablet with his/her left hand and press it with the right thumb.

    Drag up to pull up a list of categories (programs, games, maintenance, running programs, ect…)

    Slide right on the category you want to display a tile style menu of the apps under that category.

    This frees the desktop up for users to place gadgets, shortcuts and customize it to their liking. It is also close to how the old style of windows works so it would also work on a desktop with very little tweaking and it will be familiar enough not to confuse the heck out of people.

  259. FortyFive says:

    Enough about portrait and landscape, can I use it diagonally?

  260. NotImpressed says:

    No wonder Microsoft aren't interested in replying to real posters and their genuine questions/concerns, it's turned into a spammers' playground.

    What a wasted opportunity.

  261. @NotImpressed says:

    You mean replying to 200+ comments? MSDN social forums is a place to ask question, raise suggestions and giving feedback about dev preview rather this comment space. Comments are supposed to be specific about the matter discussed blog. If you want to discuss off-topic like Metro here is the space social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/b822c546-bf05-4cf9-b0a5-9cca3c1b404d

    (Incidentally, if you are a troll, nobody can impress you.)

  262. Nitz Walsh says:


    "Enough about portrait and landscape, can I use it diagonally?"

    Just wait a week, there will be a 5,000 word blog post on the very subject. 🙂

  263. @@NotImpressed says:

    So WindowsVista567… although we all definitely appreciate the effort.  You had mentioned you would stop posting to the comments sections of these blog posts.  Which you have done, and we applaud the effort.

    However, you have now on multiple occasions instead "anonymously" complained about others. At least we can only assume those posts were made by you, as you took the opportunity to point them in the direction of your own forum post as the location to voice there concerns.  Again, we all applaud the effort to point people at a better location to raise off topic and lengthy replies to these blog posts.

    The only real gripe is, the link provided should have been to the general forum  (social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/threads) and NOT your own specific posting.  All that does is try to raise more attention to your own specific agenda.  

    Long story short, the forums are the correct location in general for longer conversations about Windows 8 suggestions, improvements, or actually appluading Microsoft's efforts.  Comments are intended to actually make a comment about the specific blog post itself.  Granted overall that's been FAR from the case.

  264. By the way, could you please consider putting Favorites first before History in IE search results? Thanks.

  265. Waiting for news says:

    Six days without a new post… and counting.

  266. @Waiting for news says:

    ..that's how MS try to avoid the increase of bad feedbacks.

  267. Hitting back at thee Metro... says:

    Hitting back at thee Metro, I guess the start button could be:

    single-click=Start Screen

    double-click=start menu…

  268. @NoNoNo

    think of the dial up users? that's the problem Microsoft has always faced. they support old technologies for WAY too long. a fat binary would clearly be the best option, aside from releasing the source code and compiling it in real time (Which Microsoft would NEVER do in a billion years) no one uses dial up anymore, and the people that do certainly won't be using apps from the windows store.

  269. TechDud says:

    Will rotation take advantage of built-in accelerometers/orientation-switches in existing displays through DDC-CI?

  270. far says:

    still waiting for new post. 6 days. anything left to add in blog? what abt protogon file system

  271. Windows 8 wistful says:

    i have one solicitation for windows 7 folder showing.

    i had to change this folders in all time.if was one option to set all it will be very good.

    tiles views is very good in windows xp.

  272. etacarinae says:

    Microsoft. I hate Metro. End of story. Simple != better.

    When, oh when, will you concede that Metro is suited for tablets and aero for desktop? You're not willing to concede defeat, are you? You're going to push ahead with this and make the exact same blunder you made with Vista.

  273. @David Washington, @Kirill (RE: ClearType)

    I've just checked in the developer preview and it still has the same issue (on a desktop) as XP, Vista & Win7.

    I've only got a desktop system (not a tablet), so I used the orientation settings in the "Screen Resolution" dialog. I tuned ClearType, then brought up a webpage in IE, then took a screenshot using the Snipping Tool. I then changed screen orientation, refreshed the webpage and took another screenshot. I repeated that for Landscape, Portrait and Landscape (flipped) orientations. All the screenshots where EXACTLY the same. The ClearType rendering had not changed.

    That means fonts will still look rubbish on a rotated desktop monitor. I REALLY hope that auto-rotate of tablets is being handled differently.

  274. pikele says:

    @David Washington

    the windows Clear type is not standard feature.

    must softwares do't support it.the translator softwares are completely Outsider and discordant with it and can't do translate.

    in last comments some users have been say it is harmful for user eyes.

  275. Steve says:

    @pikele, @James Chaldecott.. do you know that Windows 7 provides options to control ClearType via control panel?

    Now, this kind of trolling makes me think of those bashers who are asking for the option to turn off Metro. I believe even if MS give this option in next build, they will continue to troll. ***** first learn the options given in control-panel then comment.

  276. Lord of mercy please hear our voices….

    I'm asking you to not abandon all your desktop users around the world.

    If Metro will be successful on Tablet's so be it but please don't put this innovation on traditional computers.

    I've never seen anything like it here in Sweden and on other places among your enthusiasts.

    People doesn't talk that much in this moment of Windows8, the usual excitement isn't really there.

    Instead it's commonly to see articles and postings on forums with content of 'memories from old times', how to install former versions of Windows, more discussions of using Linux and lot's of threads where people wondering what's happen with Microsoft. So do I.

    In tribute for the PC & the Windows desktop


  277. Got it? says:

    A must read of some of recent USER EXPERIENCE design ERRORS in Windows. All of you think about them once you think that Metro/Desktop horrible hybrid is the right way.


  278. pikele says:


    i now turn off clear type.

    the fonts become unreadable.


    we know this option is in control panel.

    you must in first learn how to speak with other peaples ,then comments in msdn or etc.the man values is in decorum.

    however i do't have any prospect of you.

    "the people are enemy to whatever unknow".

  279. @Everyone says:

    Ok, I get that Microsoft doesn't want to remove or delete any comments from this communication, as that would be viewed as censorship.  In fact a few people already have been screaming that they do that, because their post didn't show up due to a communication issue… or more likely that they were vulgar and off color with their post.

    As an alternative, how about you give the community the ability to report a given post, and mark it subject for deletion.  If enough people from the community all suggest something should be removed… then it get's removed.  Granted you would have to only allow those that logon the ability to vote, but it's no different than a lot of other forums use.  

    It would hopefully allow for less of the  "Microsoft is censoring my comments, and won't allow me to voice my concerns!!  They don't care about the XYZ users, who have been working with their products for 73 years now!" responses.

    Either that or at least allowing threading for continuity of a response to a comment that was posted.  The comments are already turning into a forum onto themself.  Why not take the final step, and make them function like a forum?

  280. @Steve (RE: ClearType)

    I know I can control ClearType via the Control Panel. My point is:

    A) ClearType doesn't appear to support sub-pixels being arranged vertically.

    B) ClearType doesn't reconfigure itself (or turn off) if you rotate the monitor.

    I'd class this as "fine" when setting up static monitors,  "somewhat annoying" when using a monitor on a pivot, but "terrible" when the screen orientation is adjusting automatically as I am moving around a tablet that I am holding in my hands.

    I'm REALLY hoping that this automatic reorientation that is happening on the tablet (with its animations, etc) is happening at a different level to what I did in my test, other wise text will look bad if you pick up a tablet and rotate the screen 180 degrees.

  281. GregH says:

    Things we hope to see in comments:

    • Lots of on-topic, good, interesting thoughts on Windows and the posts on B8

    • Focus on the content of the post and not just the topic in general—seek out the details

    • Dialog that is respectful and fun

    We reserve the right to delete comments or otherwise edit what has been said. Things that will get comments edited or deleted:

    • Offensive or abusive language or behavior as determined by a community standard

    • Misrepresentation (i.e., claiming to be somebody you're not) — if you don't want to use your real name, that's fine, as long as your profile name isn't offensive, abusive, or misrepresentative

    • Repeatedly posting the same comments or agenda, or attempting to fit a specific topic into every post, no matter what we blog about

    • Blog-spam or link-abuse of any kind

    We hope these rules will keep the discussion lively and on-topic.

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