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Blog Posted in avatar   John Paul Kim's Blog

Windows 8: Getting familiar with the new platform

By John Paul Kim
Posted Jun 18, 2012 in Technology
There is a lot of buzz around the latest OS Windows 8 that is optimized for both desktop and tablet devices and excitement for the expected Fall 2012 launch. If are not familiar, take a moment to watch the video at the following link.
Now, there a lot of design changes than previous operating systems, which brings a brand new experience. The following are a few of the key changes you will experience with the new platform:
Metro Style User Interface
“Metro” refers to the design principles set by Microsoft. The goal is to create a consistent and rich user experience across various applications. As you will notice working with the applications, you will see a lot of similar layouts and typography across applications. Theses designs were inspired by public transportation and subway system designs.
These guidelines are represented in the Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360 applications. You will see this as well with Windows 8. Although this presents a quite a bit of design challenges, the benefit is the consistent experience across applications.
Why is this important? Well, content is key and I have noticed on many iPad apps, there are a lot of inconsistent experiences on various applications, which forces me to use only a certain amount of apps. Now, with a more consistent experience across apps, users can absorb more news, sports, or weather, without having to learn the functionality of the application, which is great.
Application Live Tiles
With live tiles, you can view the start screen with live updates across the tiles. This allows us to absorb information without having to dive directly into the application.
Touch Gestures on the Tablet
Using the touch gestures will take some time to get used to but just as other tablets, there is a slight learning curve. For the most part, you will experience similar touch gestures as you will with the other tablets (iPad, Android Tablets, Playbook, Kindle, etc.) but will find a lot of the same gestures you would on other devices.
Examples include pinching for zoom. A great feature is the capability to zoom out of its entirety and see the entire layout of applications.
Swipe Across Apps
Without having to close the application, you can swipe across you apps that are currently running on the OS. This allows you to use work across apps in a very rapid pace.
Snapped View
With the capability of “snapping” an application as you run another application improves the multi-tasking capability. With the use of hand gestures, you can drag a full-screen application and place it as a side-panel while running another application.
Final Thoughts
Overall, I definitely believe this is a great change for Windows 8 and will only improve for here on in. The new approach will take some time in adoption, but as more and more Windows users become familiar with the platform, the more enjoyment you will receive.
In order for it to be successful is content. Having great applications in the Windows Marketplace is key in driving the adoption rate, but this will be in a matter of time as great content partners have made initiatives in building out applications to their platform.