Activating Windows 8 contracts in your app

One topic that we’ve demonstrated quite a bit is how apps on a Windows 8 PC can communicate with other apps and web services.  At the start of Windows 8 we chose an approach where apps can be the source or destination for data you want to share—sort of like a clipboard, but with a…


Creating the Windows 8 user experience

This blog often focuses on the bits and features and less on the “philosophy” or “context” of the product. Given the level of brand new innovations in Windows 8, however, we think it is worth putting Windows 8 in the context in which we approached the design. As with any significant change to a broadly…


Delivering reliable and trustworthy Metro style apps

As we developed the app model for Windows 8 and the new Metro style apps, a key architectural requirement has been to deliver apps to customers that can be used with confidence–confidence that apps will be well-behaved with respect to resources, that apps will not interfere with other apps, that apps use system resources with…


Updating live tiles without draining your battery

One thing that is becoming far more commonplace across all of our “screens” is the idea of lightweight notifications. Originally, Windows Gadgets were to offer this type of functionality—the idea is a quick heads up display for some critical information (news, weather, sports scores, or line of business events are a few examples). However, the…


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)…


Reflecting on your comments on the Start screen

We’ve been having a lot of discussion regarding the two recent posts on the Windows 8 Start experience. Those of you who have used the Developer Preview are contributing to our understanding of your individual usage patterns and what is easier or more difficult than in Windows 7. As a reminder, we released Windows Developer…


Designing the Start screen

Thank you for the comments and feedback on the previous post. We definitely get the message that there’s a lot of feedback and passion around the design. We’re going to continue talking about the design and answering your questions and comments through these blog posts. We designed Start to be a modern, fast and fluid…


Evolving the Start menu

This post kicks off a series of posts on the design of the Start screen and the evolution of the core activity of launching and switching programs. Some folks are calling the Start screen the “Metro shell” for Windows 8, but for us it is the evolution of the Start menu and associated functions. We’ve…


Metro style browsing: one engine, two experiences, no compromises

We are very happy to have received such a warm welcome from developers yesterday as we kicked off a pretty big opportunity with Windows 8. Our focus on B8 now moves to the Developer Preview and what is in it and how it evolves. We hope those choosing to participate in the blog are installing…


Reflecting on our first conversations (part 2)

As mentioned at the start of the last post, I wanted to pause for a moment and look back at the dialogue we’ve had via this blog, further exploring a few of the exchanges and inquires, just as we did with the Engineering Windows 7 blog. We’ll pick up where we left off the last post,…