Thursday, June 2, 2011
Posted by Michael Knutson in "Laptop Thoughts Talk" @ 12:30 AM
"The new Windows 8 touch-based UI, revealed earlier today at the D9 Conference, looks good. It’s clearly drawn from the same inspiration as Windows Phone 7, and shows some seriously innovative UI thinking. The idea of tiles rather than icons is rich, and strikes me as even better-suited to bigger screens than phones. The snapping concept is an interesting way to make use of a bigger screen to show two apps at once. Displaying side-by-side content isn’t possible on iOS, and no one’s yet solved that problem in the post-windows (note lowercase “w”) UI landscape."
Interesting that the D9 conference actually had some hands-on time with an early version of the Windows 8 Touch UI, heavily influenced by Windows Phone 7's UI. These demos show just how heavily Apple has influenced industry UI development over the last few years. The author's main point is that Microsoft is trying to add these new (touch) features to coexist alongside existing Windows code, and he doesn't think that it'll work. Imagine the complexity of a real enterprise Excel spreadsheet (huge!) on a touch-screen tablet. Mind boggling. Obviously it's early in the Windows 8 development cycle, so things may change drastically between now and when it gets into consumers' hands. Will we see "more of the same," or will Microsoft truly innovate this time around? Predictions?