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article imageMicrosoft still working on Interactive Live Tiles for Windows 10

By James Walker     May 12, 2015 in Technology
During a session at Microsoft's Ignite conference last week, the company announced that it is still working hard on making Interactive Live Tiles a reality in a future update to Windows 10, enabling users to access features of apps directly from Start.
Interactive Live Tiles have been suggested by Microsoft fans since the very first unveiling of Windows Phone 7, back in 2011. They have been integral to many community-made concept videos designed to inspire Microsoft when developing future interfaces.
A Microsoft Research video from a little over a year ago showed that the company is exploring the concept. Not much more was heard though until Christine Matheney and Jerry Nixon spoke about interactive live tiles in their "Tiles, Notifications and Action Center" talk at Microsoft Ignite last week.
Windows Central reports that Nixon began to discuss the popular concept around 15 minutes into the talk, embedded above. It seems as though Microsoft is still working hard on getting the sophisticated tiles to run and intends to add them to Windows 10 in a future build, after its first release this summer.
It is easy to see how interactive live tiles could become very popular with all users of Windows 10. Such a tile would combine the functionality of Android widgets with the simple, vivid elegance of the core Windows tiles that are now recognised by everyone.
The classic example used by every technology journalist is in the case of the calculator app. If all that you want to do is to add some numbers together, it does't make sense to open the app specially. With an interactive tile, you could perform the calculation without even leaving the Start screen, using buttons overlaid on the calculator tile.
It is easy to see how this concept could be applied to other apps too. Clock could let you set an alarm or start a stopwatch, right from its tile. Music could show buttons for play, pause and next when in use. A note-taking app like OneNote could let you scribble something down quickly, right on the Start screen, and then automatically save it for later.
There are still a lot of questions to be answered though. Clearly, we won't be seeing this functionality for quite a while. Microsoft last showed it in action in a Research video last year and the fact that it hasn't even been suggested as appearing in Windows 10 RTM indicates that it is a long way off release, probably with the "Windows Redstone" update for Windows 10 next year.
Additionally, although it is safe to assume that Microsoft will incorporate the feature into its core apps, it remains to be seen whether third-party developers will do the same. Regardless, this development looks to be another enticing reason to upgrade to Windows 10 and will make simple tasks even easier than ever to carry out.
More about windows 10, Windows, Microsoft, Start, Screen
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