Windows 8 on a Tablet
It turns out Windows 8 is going to be a lot like Windows Phone 7 — and that’s probably a good thing. You’ve got full screen “Metro” style apps that have no reminants of application chrome or even operating system controls. There are gorgeous live tiles that animate with pictures, social network notifications, messages, emails and weather. Everything is smooth and responsive to the touch.
However, there are some big differences. First of all, I was quite content with the Windows 7 touch interface. You touch the buttons and they activate. That’s pretty simple. But now that I’ve been using Windows 8, I’m much more impressed. The touch UI is designed to be both ergonomic, highly efficient, and clutter-free.
The main controls are right next to the bezel where your thumbs would be if you were holding a tablet. Just swipe your thumb along the left side to flip between open apps. Swipe across it and then back to show a list of thumbnails representing open apps that you can easily tap to open the one you’re looking for. Then swiping on the right side with your thumb opens the “charms” for other types of operating-system interactions.
It’s really quite nice once you learn how to use it, and there’s only one issue: There’s nothing on the screen giving you any kind of indication on how to interact with this new user interface.
The fact that you can easily jump back into a desktop computer interface to run all of your high-end content-creation programs (even though they may not be designed for touch UIs) is fantastic for mobile productivity.
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