The PC giant Microsoft is making waves in the mobile application development arena with its up and coming operating system called Windows 8. This new version of their operating system has been developed with mobile devices in mind and is Microsoft’s move to stay relevant it the changing tide of personal computing. Although desktop computers still accounts for the majority of use in homes and businesses worldwide, consumers are increasingly adopting smartphones and mobile tablets as their choice of computing tool. Microsoft has fallen behind in the mobile arena and Windows 8 is their response to market demands.
In the past, the Windows operating system has been notorious for being processor intensive along with requiring a large amount of disk space to store application files. This has made it a challenge as a contender for mobile devices. The new Windows 8 will require less system requirements than its predecessor. Additionally, it will run on traditional desktop PCs and laptops built with Intel processors as well as ARM processing chips that are the core of touch devices such as tablets and smartphones.
The new user interface is a huge change from the past with a clean and intuitive layout based on the “Metro style” design first introduced in Windows Phone 7. The reinvented operating system will run Metro Style apps that are fast, fluid and designed to enhance user interactivity regardless of the device they are running on. The user experience for Windows 8 will be similar on both desktop computers and mobile devices. Metro apps respond to touch on devices that support it while remaining compatible with more traditional input devices such as a mouse.
Metro apps will run in full screen mode,Metro Blog Online effectively hiding the operating system to remove clutter on the screen. This more engaging approach to personal computing draws the user into the experience so they can focus on what they are doing. On the startup screen, Metro apps are presented in tiles that feature status and activity updates intended to engage the user with the data they care about the most. This approach is a break away from the icon based home screens that are prevalent on Apple and Android devices and intended to provide a more engaging user experience.
Cloud based computing will also play a role in the future of Metro apps. Users will easily be able to share content on their social networks as well as other devices they are connected to. Running Windows 8 on both a persons desktop computer and mobile device means greater integration of shared data without having to deal with cross platform issues, effectively bridge the gap between mobile and PC.
Metro apps will be sold exclusively in the up and coming Windows Store, a marketplace similar to the popular Apple Store where users can purchase apps to suit their needs. The store will focus on simplicity and provide a safe portal to purchase quality apps that have been tested for performance and security. Community developers will be able to use the new APIs and development tools to build Metro style apps where they can submit to the Windows Store.
With the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablet devices, mobile apps have become a way of life for many users. The market demand continues to rise and proves that they are not just a passing fad in today’s ever-changing technology trends. Microsoft’s new approach will certainly keep their operating system relevant in the new mobile world by giving consumers what they want and have come to expect in personal computing.