Microsoft has revealed more Windows 8 changes that it is planning for the beta stage of development.
Customization improvements of the Start Screen
Microsoft is planning to allow users to customize the Start Screen more fully in Windows 8 beta. “The personalization of the Start screen is one of the features that we want to make great, and we’re still iterating on it and to make it better,” said Marina Dukhon, a senior program manager lead on the Core Experience team, in a blog post on Tuesday. Microsoft’s Windows 8 developer preview allows users to change their group sizes, unpin tiles and resize wide tiles to square ones. “In the Beta, you’ll also be able to use other improvements based on this dialog, in addition to creating, naming, and rearranging groups,” revealed Dukhon.
Improved apps screen
Microsoft revealed it is planning to improve the Apps screen in Windows 8. Applications are now organized into groups in the latest builds of Windows 8. This moves away from the alphabetical list found in the developer preview. “This way, if you are looking for something that you know came in your Visual Studio suite, but can’t recall the exact name of the app, it should be much easier for you to find,” explains Dukhon. The view will also become a lot more denser, fitting more content on the screen.
Jump lists and live tiles
Microsoft answered several questions about the use of jump lists from Windows 7. “We knew it was important to keep jump lists on the taskbar for your most commonly used desktop apps, says Dukhon. “We wanted to build something more customized for Metro style apps.” Microsoft’s view of Windows 8 jump lists is more application-centric. Microsoft predicts that application developers will follow the Windows Phone route and create pinable items inside their applications. Live tiles will also enable developers and end users to interact with their applications in closer ways.
Better Start Screen experience on large monitors
Microsoft is looking to improve the experience of its Metro style applications on large screens. “Another thing that we’re doing is increasing the number of rows of tiles that you can see on large monitors,” revealed Dukhon. The improvements will allow Windows 7 users to fit even more apps on the Start Screen and closer to their mouse to make it faster to launch apps.