Windows 8 UI Preview

Windows 8 UI Preview
Windows 8 UI Preview
Microsoft has been rather quiet on the next version of Windows till this week. This week in D9 conference Steven Sinofsky previewed for the first time Windows 8 UI. From PDC 2009 where Microsoft showed touch in Windows 7 I have been hoping they will come out with a great touch experience but with the ability to run existing Windows Apps. Think of it, Apple iOS claims about 300,000 or so apps, but Windows has like Millions of apps out there. The challenge for Microsoft has been the Hardware, which they don’t control; but in Apple’s case they design and control to produce great experience like in iPad2.
The video below shows Microsoft’s Director of PM (Windows User Experience) Jensen Harris showcasing the new Windows8 Touch UI. For me, I am super excited on this new UI, the concept of tiles and display of information quickly is cool. I liked this “Metro” UI when it was first shown in WindowsPhone7, but it is unfortunate it didn’t take off that well. May be the Nokia-Microsoft deal will revive the fortune of both the companies & adoption of this UI.

Only time will tell whether in this round with Windows8 will Microsoft be able to get their Hardware partners to design cool hardware with better battery life than iPad. But they have already started working with partners as this partner preview of new devices in Taipei, Taiwan shows.


  • Girikrishna, backward compatibility always just means what the words say – Backward compatibility. They can never match native & newer applications exploiting the newer features of any platform. I see the ability to run existing Windows Apps to be a short-gap, compromise solution – kind of best of both worlds, but never ideal. It will be the big draw for Enterprises to adopt Windows8, but over the next few years they will definitely invest in migrating/creating apps that are touch friendly/Windows8 app.

  • Thanks for the response. I agree that Microsoft would ensure that these apps are backward compatible on the Windows 8 system. But i don’t agree the comparison (in terms of nos) of these apps against those present in the App Store. The IOS apps are built from ground up and designed for consistent touch experience, be it single or multi gestures.

    Imagine a traditional Windows apps that has tons of small buttons, controls designed for mouse like a Tree View Control etc running on Windows 8. Windows might map touch gestures to mouse events to make it functional, but at the cost of the user experience. Imagine collapsing / expanding Tree View control with touch. It would be painfully exasperating.

    Apple didn’t apply the same model in trying to make OS X apps compatible on IOS. Apps like GrangeBand was, i believe written from scratch to make it functional on IOS.

    Microsoft would be perennially haunted with providing compatibility for those millions of desktop apps and there by compromising on user experience.

    That’s my two cents :-)

  • Girikrishna, Yes I am counting traditional Windows Desktop App written with Win32/C++, VB, C# and so on. For these apps to work well, Microsoft should come up with a good working platform for these apps on a (Finger) Touch screen, they can do it with a reasonably accurate translation engine of touches to Mouse movements. The apps should be able to run without modification. It is not an easy path, but Microsoft should have years experience on fine-tuning the technology in time for Windows8. Many of the apps in Enterprise are decade(s) old and LOB apps won’t be redeveloped anytime soon.

  • Millions of Apps from Microsoft ?.. Oh, U must also be including Desktop apps which aren’t built for touch anyway. Comparing that with apps for IOS is like comparing Apples and Oranges