Today's Building Windows 8 blog post, written by Steven Sinofsky, isn't really about a new Windows 8 feature or tweak, but rather about how the new-style Metro tablet UI will interact with the traditional Windows desktop.

Specifically, Sinofsky says that the Metro UI won't sit on top of the Windows desktop on tablets, but that the Windows desktop wouldn't even load unless specifically invoked by the user - "you can think of the Windows desktop as just another app," he says. At the same time, Sinofsky affirmed that Microsoft understands the importance of the standard Windows desktop, and acknowledged that the traditional mouse-and-keyboard interface was just better for certain tasks, including the running of legacy apps. He sums all of this up best toward the end of the piece: 

"Our design goal was clear: no compromises. If you want to, you can seamlessly switch between Metro style apps and the improved Windows desktop. Existing apps, devices, and tools all remain and are improved in Windows 8. On the other hand, if you prefer to immerse yourself in only Metro style apps (and platform) and the new user experience, you can do that as well!  Developers can target the APIs that make sense for the software they wish to deliver."

If Microsoft can deliver on this promise and give us one device that can serve as a satisfactory tablet and a satisfactory PC, I for one would definitely be interested.

Source: Building Windows 8 Blog

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  • dew111 - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Sorry, I really can't cite my source as this one hasn't hit the media yet. Reply
  • paulpod - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Legacy TV tuner apps that turn on a PC and record a show will need an easy provision to autostart the Windows desktop and log in (like with "control userpasswords2"). Failure to consider and support all usage scenarios like this would be real bad.

    And I hope they do not enforce a "one UI or the other" mentality. For people who will be working mostly with a full screen legacy desktop, there should be a way to view running metro UI apps as windows within the desktop.

    In fact, I think "tile" ui designers are grossly underestimating how much more space efficient overlapping windows are. You can adjust the overlaps to show only the parts of running programs that need to be seen while putting other windows over the parts that do not need to be seen. I routinely see people effectively monitoring DOZENS of running programs in a traditional desktop. The "tile" UI does not support more than a few apps visible at one time. The fact that touch apps always seem to have a lot of wasted space also does not help.
    Reply
  • xdrol - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    I have hard time to believe people "will be working mostly with a full screen legacy desktop" - on a tablet. The default UI of the desktop edition of Win8 is still the old desktop - just you can switch to the Metro if you want, and it is the other way around for tablets. Reply
  • Rand - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    The default UI that you boot into is Metro, you can go from Metro to the desktop if you want but you can't boot directly to the desktop.
    It's either exclusively Metro, or Metro to launch applications as the Start Menu replacement and the desktop to interact with them afterwards.

    The default UI is always Metro though.
    Reply
  • B3an - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    Why do you think this? I've not seen MS confirm this anywhere.
    But it would make sense that can can boot in to which ever you choose, otherwise it will annoy a ton of people.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    "If Microsoft can deliver on this promise and give us one device that can serve as a satisfactory tablet and a satisfactory PC, I for one would definitely be interested."

    Microsoft do not make that hardware so it's NOT up to them

    Asus EP121
    Samsunt 7 slate
    Sahara

    Three core i5 tablets that can replace laptops/desktops.
    Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    Perhaps a better phrasing would have been "If Microsoft can deliver software that can enable one device..."

    Hardware specs are only part of the puzzle. They've got to run software that people will want to use, and sell in meaningful numbers - that last requirement probably excludes the devices you list above.
    Reply
  • Roland00Address - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - link

    What resolutions will metro work with? I have heard rumors metro will not work with resolution 1024x600. Hopefully it works with 1024x768, for I just recently received a new hp touchpad 32gb. Reply
  • Penti - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    ARM machines aren't standized as PC's and will never run W8 ARM edition any how. Reply
  • dfgddfdf - Thursday, September 1, 2011 - link

    Come go and see, will not regret it Oh look

    http://www。ifancyshop。com
    Reply

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