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Microsoft shows off Windows 8's tablet interface, app store

updated 07:25 pm EDT, Wed June 1, 2011

Microsoft shows Windows 8 UI for first time

Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky at his D9 speech showed the tablet-native interface of Windows 8 for the first time. Borrowing heavily from the tile-based interface of Windows Phone 7, it can show a user's apps as well as live widget-like tiles, contacts and other data. Everything is intended to be very easily readable and used entirely with finger touch and gestures.

Apps themselves have also changed, Microsoft said. While truly native apps will behave like they do on the desktop, Windows 8 will also have the option of webOS-like, full screen tablet apps based around a combination of HTML5 and Javascript. Internet Explorer 10 was already modified to run full-screen and had been matched by some early widget apps. Tablet-optimized apps have access to the Windows feature set and can run side-by-side with regular ones.

A prominent "Store" icon has confirmed Microsoft's plans to copy Apple and introduce a Windows app store. Sinofsky in talking to AllThingsD acknowledged that the iPad had shown Microsoft things that it needed to do for tablets, including both a way of distributing apps through a store as well as having an interface truly designed for touch and creating a streamlined developer model.

Many of these plans were in the framework since July 2009, before Apple had even showed the iPad, Sinofsky claimed.

The OS is also expected to continue the trend set by Windows 7 and lighten the requirements versus its predecessor. Its approach would not only let Atom-based tablets run Windows 8 smoothly but make sure that ARM-based systems would run smoothly. Existing apps would 'just run' on Intel-based devices, Microsoft said.

Sinofsky wouldn't confirm the release date, but Windows 8 is expected to ship in late 2012. Officially, it will reach its next major milestone in September for the Build conference. A final release "won't be this fall," he said.


By Electronista Staff


  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Looks like Windows 2.0. But with more color.

    Most of you probably never saw Windows 2.0. I did. Tiled windows, just like WP7. I hear KIN was kind of like that too, but nobody really ever knew for sure.

  1. Cronocide

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2010



    Love the scroll bar, I think I've seen it somewhere. The little x buttons look familiar too.
    But what am I thinking, it's Microsoft! Everything they do is new and inventive.

    Envision Dissimilarly.

  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2009


    We were totally going to ship the iPad

    Apple just stole our design and code and shipped it first. We had to redesign everything, just so it wouldn't look like we were copying them.

    And please forget all that stuff Bill was saying about how tablets would only be useful if you had a stylus in your hand.

  1. tundaman

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2010



    Don't you just love those presentations?

    You can run only what you want, and have no real world problems like battery life and usability... make someone wonders why M$ would take a whole year(well... maybe a couple more, if you see it the M$ way) to release something barely functional.

    ps: that board behind the HDTV at the "design room" says everything about M$ design!

  1. Bengt77

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2003


    Looks good!

    I won't join in with the negative blabber above me. I deliberately choose to ignore those childish posts. Instead, I'll just say that I think Windows 8 is starting to look quite impressive, judging by the previews I've seen so far. This might indeed prove to be a worthy competitor to iOS and Lion. Of course, we'll have to wait and see, but I'm certainly somewhat impressed by what I'm seeing.

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Right. Sure.

    "Many of these plans were in the framework since July 2009, before Apple had even showed the iPad, Sinofsky claimed."

    Yes. At that time they had been looking at the App Store on the iPhone for about a year, wondering how they could copy it.

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