- 02-20-2013, 11:24 AM #1
Since day one, I've had this theory that metro apps will one day not only run in fullscreen mode, but in windowed mode too.
The entire interface is built around 'scaling'. The api supports multiple events for handling window resizing. And under the hood, it's implementation in explorer.exe is more similar to legacy apps than one would think.
The reality is, almost everything needed for windowed metro apps already exists. The switch is simply turned off. Why? Because a redesign of a operating system this large scale is very complex. It takes an extreme amount of planning and prioritizing. For productivity, metro apps need to support windowed mode. Everyone here knows this. Microsoft knows this. But with legacy support, there wasn't an immediate need for it and there were much more important areas of the operating system to focus on. Do you really think a company like Microsoft does not consider these things? ;)
If the rumors are true and Windows Blue brings app unification between the ecosystem, then you can be sure windowed mode will come along with it or follow soon after. The form factor and display size will be the main differentiation between how apps are used on different devices. Simply put, smaller screens only need fullscreen mode and larger screens need the option for fullscreen or windowed mode.
I have been saying this since the start of Windows 8 and I have no sources for my information.
However, I now have something to show as proof that the functionality exists: RetroUI ? Enhancing Windows 8 and Bringing Back the Start Menu
If you have any other information that supports/dismisses my theory I would love to hear it. :)
- 02-25-2013, 10:50 PM #2
The Metro (Windows 8) style will definitely continue to evolve. There is already a side panel mode for 2 apps on screen at once, and I'm sure we'll see 2x2 or even more apps, each running in its own space. This may lead to more customized desktop replacement and start menu by allowing your most important apps to be ready when you need them. With cheap memory and SSD drives, it would be a simple thing. For instance, let's say you use Photoshop on a fairly regular basis. Instead of launching that program, you could set it to load when you boot up and then "suspend" as an app. As soon as you click the Photoshop tile, it would almost instantly load. Plus, you wouldn't even have to worry about saving your work, because it would automatically "suspend" again so you can pick up where you left off. No more loading a program, opening the file, zooming to the correct area, and choosing your tools. That would increase efficiency tremendously. Automatic backups to SkyDrive and local storage will make lost and unrecoverable save files a thing of the past.
All in all, despite the naysayers, I think Microsoft is on the right track with the OS path. The desktop is quickly becoming antiquated, and there are many ways of doing work more efficiently in the computer environment. Windows 8 is but a taste of that future.
Heck, my 3 year old grand daughter easily navigates Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 with such ease, it surprises even me. You only have to show her once, and she can get to any app, music, video, etc.
I for one can't wait to see what Windows 9 will bring to the table.
- 02-27-2013, 04:20 PM #3
From a technical standpoint, Windows 8 supports more expandability and maintainability than any other operating system. With that said, what would be included in Windows 9 that cannot be added into Windows 8 with an update?
Windows 8 was made for the future. And my last question is this: If all apps work across all platforms, is there really a need for version numbers anymore?
I think a prime example of this is the Xbox dashboard. What version is your Xbox Dashboard? When was the last time you thought about or spoke about your specific Xbox Dashboard version number?
- 03-21-2013, 11:47 AM #4
- 03-22-2013, 07:01 PM #5
Yep. Those products prove metro (screw modern) apps can run in a window. I certainly haven't put as much thought into this as you have, but I have absolutely no problem imagining that metro will evolve precisely as you predict.
When I think of metro, I recognize the UI paradigm shift, but my mind tends to focus on other aspects of the metro environment. I see the metro environment primarily as Microsoft's first and biggest step towards protecting Windows against one of its last remaining but largest threats... the users. It is now obvious that consumers can't be expected to systematically learn how to use a computing OS like Windows. It probably wasn't fair to expect so in the first place. Given this situation, the traditional Windows experience leaves users too many opportunities to dig themselves into a hole they don't know how to get out of. The Windows brand has become tarnished as a result. I see the current metro environment as Microsoft's first step on their way to solving that problem. Over time, Windows will develop into something more akin to a computing appliance.
As it is now, the metro environment is piggy backed onto the desktop (explorer.exe) process, but at some point that will flip. At that point metro will have evolved far enough to support productivity apps and todays desktop will run as a legacy process (or a VM) within the metro environment. However, I don't think that will happen with Blue. I think that point is still at least two, more likely three years out. IMHO Blue is all about rectifying the things Sinofsky screwed up by taking his own path and largely ignoring the work done by other teams at Microsoft, such as the WP team. IMHO, Blue is the effort to consolidate what drifted too far apart (UI design language, Silverlight usage, the role of .NET vs. C++, etc.)
I can add one prediction to yours though. Come Blue, I think we will be able to download (.NET) WP8 apps from a unified Microsoft Store and run them in snapped mode within the metro environment.
03-22-2013, 07:22 PM #6
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03-22-2013, 07:43 PM #7
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As long as there is ongoing work done to the os you should pay for that work. That is the idea behind MacOSX but I believe Microsoft will follow its way with product and produce a separate windows 9 eventually. And then maybe we will have a true unification of windows phone and window(API wise). Windows phone 8 was more of a hack to allow back compatibility with previous app so they maintain a high number of apps in the store.
As for metro apps running in a window that is something I dislike. The metro was about a more immersive experience and touch. Small windows are against that. I'm a productivity guy and I don't use windows all my windows are maximized and I multitask using alt+tab and nothing is stopping me being productive this way actually it helps me. And nothing is stopping me doing this in windows 8. All the enhancement of the os towards battery and speed relies on the metro apps(desktop side is essentially untouched in regards to energy and speed optimizations) so having them in windows will defeat the very purpose of the os.
Those apps letting you run metro apps in small windows are for people who refuse to try and adapt to a different philosophy. I don't use outlook anymore I use the default mail app and I can't complain. And I can't really complain about having to use desktop for heavy writing and metro apps for anything else. And beside you get so much more productivity from keyboard shortcuts than using a mouse that I really don't see the point in having overlapping windows anymore. The current side by side philosophy works just great
03-24-2013, 07:50 PM #8
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- 03-30-2013, 04:53 AM #9
In my opinion the way forward from here, where there are 2 somewhat disjointed interfaces, one better for touch and the other for traditional setups, is to better integrate the two. Enable metro apps to run on the desktop, but allow the app UI to change between these two interfaces (for example the same metro app running on the desktop would have smaller and more numerous buttons more suited to mouse navigation), and continue to create new metro interfaces for old desktop programs (like MS office). Then you could allow switching between these interfaces whilst maintaining your work. This could be extended to allow a tablet to use the metro apps with the ability to transfer your open apps to your desktop PC where they would open in windows on the desktop, and back again to metro on the tablet.
- 03-31-2013, 05:43 PM #10
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