Microsoft is doing some tiling in Windows 8. Internet Explorer Immersive, the browser in the next version of the Windows software, gives us a first look at the influencehas on its big-screen brother.
Windows Phone, Microsoft's operating system for mobile phones, is based on large, slickly animated squares on the screen. It's a finger-friendly way to make the software clear and easy to use, and would work just as well on tablets. Windows 8 will work on both tablets and full-size computers, so it needs to be tappable for touchscreens and still look good when you're using a mouse.
Early versions of Windows 8 have been circulated to Microsoft's partners. The tile-based user interface is mostly hidden away, but Windows bods Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott have managed to capture these screenshots of the tile-based Internet Explorer Immersive Web browser.
The browser shows thumbnails of the websites you've visited, in large, colourful square tiles.
Windows 8 also includes a Time Machine-stylebackup feature. Another feature that will be familiar to Apple users is a planned built-in Windows app store. Like Apple's , the built-in program will let users download Silverlight-based applications to their computers.
A new way of building apps, codenamed Jupiter, aims to allow developers to build apps that scale up to computers and down to mobile devices. That should take away the headache of developing apps for different devices and different platforms. One such app is a new PDF reader called Modern Reader, installed from a new .appx package.
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