Hands on: Windows 8 rotation support [video]

By Tom Warren, on 14th Sep 11 4:08 pm with 63 Comments

Microsoft’s Windows 8 rotation support is greatly improved, primarily for tablet and slate devices.

The company has improved the way that Windows 8 rotates displays, from small screen tablets up to desktop monitors. Microsoft has worked closely with several graphics card vendors to improve the experience of switching from portrait to landscape modes on tablet and slate devices. The result is a more smoother way to rotate. It’s important to remember that this is early work and the support will likely improve in time but for now the company has made some solid improvements.

Microsoft’s landscape and portrait modes are both supported across the metro and classic desktop user interfaces. Tiles dynamically change their width and position to suit horizontal or portrait modes, dependent on the amount of resolution available to the system. System manufacturers can build in rotation switches to lock the position of the screen in a particular mode. The transitions are speedy and from my experience they work well across Windows 8. Check out the hands on video below.

  • Anonymous

    That is a beautiful weather app. I love the animations! Can’t wait to buy a tablet!

  • Anonymous

    nice.. very nice.

  • http://www.vastyles.com/ Tim

    I know its a preview build, but this transition should be instant or they must add a better animation to help hide the delay.

    • Anonymous

      “I know its a preview build
      ” but still you comment on something that obviously is going to change and improve and look better? because obviously they will add some sort of animation, if wp7 has nice animations… obviously Windows will have better animations.

    • http://www.vastyles.com/ Tim

      Because this is Microsoft, small things like this sadly always end up in the final version. Quit being so defensive over anything negative.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ricardo-Dawkins/746307628 Ricardo Dawkins

      Complain on their blog when they post about it.

    • Anonymous

      It’s precisely because it’s a preview build, which is why everyone should critique it as much as possible. You are not helping Microsoft, if all you do is blindly worship anything they release.

      They gave us a preview, we use it, and we give them feedback. 

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      It’ll probably get a snappier look eventually.

    • http://twitter.com/davester13 D R

      Sure.  And by ‘eventually’ you might as well write ‘for Windows 10′.

    • Guest

      Duh.

    • Anonymous

      Dude that was damn near instantaneous. What do you want, for the tablet to read your mind to switch before u could move?

      The transition isn’t the best yes but this was perfect For a developer preview. There is no lag and it works great on both landscape & portrait.

      Then even more idiotic you are comparing a complete finished build to a developer (not even Beta) build.. Seriously dude..

    • Spacegorilla

      Not sure what video you watched but there was definitely a lag in the orientation switch. I’m sure it’ll get better. Metro looks cool.

    • http://twitter.com/davester13 D R

      Sure, it might not be instantaneous, and the screen partially blanking also can be worked out, but HOW it works seems very disorienting to me.

      Fading out one orientation, then fading in a new one with everything rearranged takes several moments for a user to remap where everything has moved to on the screen.  With iOS rotation, you actually see where everything moves to, ‘as it happens’, so it is much less jarring, and you don’t have to figure out where everything has gone.

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

    holy crap……using windows 8 to surf on this site and it looks AWESOME….all METRO !! hahah !!! Well done TOM !

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

    holy crap……using windows 8 to surf on this site and it looks AWESOME….all METRO !! hahah !!! Well done TOM !

  • http://twitter.com/s_a_r_k_i_s sarkis chamelian

    holy crap……using windows 8 to surf on this site and it looks AWESOME….all METRO !! hahah !!! Well done TOM !

  • guest2

    windows 8 and this website were made for each other, loving the interface

  • guest2

    windows 8 and this website were made for each other, loving the interface

  • guest2

    windows 8 and this website were made for each other, loving the interface

  • NativeFloridian

    how do you change orientation if your tablet doesn’t have an orientation sensor?

  • NativeFloridian

    how do you change orientation if your tablet doesn’t have an orientation sensor?

    • Aaron

      I’m going to go out on a limb here and say this will only work with devices that have the required sensors.

    • Guest

      Stand on your head?

    • Dude

      get an ipad, lol

    • Nobodyspecial

      troll, lol

  • NativeFloridian

    how do you change orientation if your tablet doesn’t have an orientation sensor?

  • http://twitter.com/jgmis Joshua Greene

    Looks like I’ll be ditching my Acer a500!!

    • Anonymous

      What’s wrong with it? W8 is running great on my i3 laptop but I am looking for a touch device to run on. 

      Edit: Oh I see. It’s not a x86.

  • Anonymous

    Does anybody else think the winrumors splash sound is horrible and jarring?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah it’s a bit too loud for me. Wish it were a bit lower and maybe softer.

    • ASa

      I agree very much.

      Sometimes I cringe and take off my headphones.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      Yeah I might change it soon, I’ve heard that feedback before :)

    • Morgan

      LOL I was just about to comment on this. Yes too loud and jarring. It basically announces to the entire office that I am screwing around. How about using Windows Phone zen like sounds? :)

    • http://w1ngnut.myopenid.com/ w1ngnut

      Yeah!! Tom, please fix that. I always mute that sound else it will make me deaf! 

  • Anonymous

    BTW, does anyone know how to quit a Metro UI app? I don’t have problem running many in the background but just wondering.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=11814278 Chris Woelfel

      You don’t. You can open Task Manager and kill it. Otherwise it will just be suspended after around 5 seconds off screen. It can still do push notifications to update itself though. Or scheduled updates and such.

  • Andrew

    Now if only they can get the home screen on wp7 to go landscape for devices with slide out KB’s that would be awesome.

  • Anonymous

    Tom,

    What are you running it on? Are you finding it being fairly stable? I am planning to install it on my ASUS ep121, possibly using it as a main OS – any words of advice (I know, expect the unexpected, but aside from that?).

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      This is running on the Samsung developer tablet. It’s a little buggy but it’s early days. I am impressed with where Windows 8 is heading though. It’s going to be amazing once it ships.

  • Anonymous

    nice.

  • http://twitter.com/winningguy Nelson Ocampo

    I can’t wait to see later builds when they have full transition animations on.

  • Guest

    They had me as OS-wide spell checker. About f’n time.

    • Dude

      i like how you’re excited over features that they are 5+ years behind on

    • Dude

      i like how you’re excited over features that they are 5+ years behind on

  • J A

    This is what they should implement on Windows Phone. I’m not sure why they’ve not done that yet.

    • Anonymous

      Was thinking the same thing. I have a feeling landscape support implemented this way will be coming soon in a future update or definitely with WP8 Apollo. Which interestingly might be around the same time Windows 8 comes to market fall of next year.

  • http://twitter.com/Arbeitsheld_ Julian Bickelmann

    I’m sure W8 will work wonderful on tablets, but I dont think it will work that well for Desktop PC users…
    Lets see.

    • Anonymous

      I’m thinking it will be exactly the opposite.  The “tablets” they’re demoing on have mid range laptop grade hardware.  Now I know that they’re going to be able to optimize the code a lot in a year, but I just don’t see these things being as snappy on true tablet grade hardware as iOS.

    • Anonymous

      They looked pretty snappy in the demo. The only worry is battery life.

  • Dude

    i can’t help but laugh right out loud every time i see a windows user’s desktop. they _still_ don’t have fit-to-screen! the guy rotates to portrait and the background image ends up 100px tall in the center of the screen. absolutely hilarious

    • http://twitter.com/Shadow_024 Shadow 024

      I imagine you writing that with a fat chubby frown on your face

    • Anonymous

      Seems like you havent used a PC in a while or retarded. Fit to screen has always been there in windows. 

  • Anonymous

    Cool. Now add this to the phone.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Dick/100001696600158 Chuck Dick

    This is due out in a few weeks, right? No? Next year? Seriously? Why are they showing it now? 

    I hear all this talk of “iOS” and “Android killer” but it’s not out until next year. Really? Doesn’t make any sense. This type of talk assumes iOS and Android are freezing their current builds now, and not making any changes, upgrades or improvements until Windows 8 is out. I mean, c’mon. That’s like me saying I am going to kick your ass next year, after I graduate from Billy Blanks’ Tai-Bo Graduate Program. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Dick/100001696600158 Chuck Dick

    This is due out in a few weeks, right? No? Next year? Seriously? Why are they showing it now? 

    I hear all this talk of “iOS” and “Android killer” but it’s not out until next year. Really? Doesn’t make any sense. This type of talk assumes iOS and Android are freezing their current builds now, and not making any changes, upgrades or improvements until Windows 8 is out. I mean, c’mon. That’s like me saying I am going to kick your ass next year, after I graduate from Billy Blanks’ Tai-Bo Graduate Program. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Dick/100001696600158 Chuck Dick

    This is due out in a few weeks, right? No? Next year? Seriously? Why are they showing it now? 

    I hear all this talk of “iOS” and “Android killer” but it’s not out until next year. Really? Doesn’t make any sense. This type of talk assumes iOS and Android are freezing their current builds now, and not making any changes, upgrades or improvements until Windows 8 is out. I mean, c’mon. That’s like me saying I am going to kick your ass next year, after I graduate from Billy Blanks’ Tai-Bo Graduate Program. 

    • Anonymous

      500,000 downloads for a developer build has surely brought even more hype for wanting this OS. There are people who are wanting to buy new Win7 Slates just for this. People wanting to get it on their Touchpad and iPad that will create even more want for this Great OS.

      They will keep putting more builds out there and keep gaining more traction in laptop & tablet world. More Betas will get even more awesome. BE READY!!!!

    • Anonymous

      The issue is getting developer support. And getting developer support is pretty much the same as getting community support. This is probably the way to get it, when you’re not the first out of the gate.

    • Anonymous

      The issue is getting developer support. And getting developer support is pretty much the same as getting community support. This is probably the way to get it, when you’re not the first out of the gate.

  • Anonymous

    Great. Im hoping that the portrait support means we ca ndo full side by side, not just the little reader thing.
    BTW Congrats on having a quote in the Keynote.

  • Brpanda23

    Nokia phones used to have this feature 3years back – I think they picked it from them after their friendship ;-)

  • Bryan1UP

    I think this is the only site I’ve seen that has mentioned and shown us the rotation support in windows 8. Thanks!!!!

  • Bryan1UP

    I think this is the only site I’ve seen that has mentioned and shown us the rotation support in windows 8. Thanks!!!!