Windows 8 will be the first iteration of Windows that includes, by standard, more “immersive” applications–otherwise known as tablet apps or “Metro apps”. There are a few differences between these applications; here’s how Metro apps differ from classic applications/programs:
- Removed controls (i.e. minimize, maximize/restore, and exit buttons; drop down tool menus i.e. File, Edit, Tools etc.; no scrollbars for the most part)
- Optimized for touch screen rather than keyboard and mouse
- Metro apps are not designed to be closed; they are instead moved to the background for quick launching
- Metro apps run full-screen (although you can put two side by side in a 33/67 ratio)
The tablet apps are accessed through the Start Screen. Here’s the start screen if you’re unfamiliar with it:
If an application is not designed with Metro UI considerations (i.e. most applications available today), it will run and look just like it does in Windows 7. In fact, the standard Windows desktop runs as if it were its own Metro app. With the Windows desktop app run your programs and tools that are still designed to be used in a windowed format.
Here’s how Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) looks in Windows 8 running as a Metro app:
Here’s how IE9 looks running in normal windowed mode:
Will all Programs be Converted to a Metro-style App?
At this stage in the development of Windows 8, it’s hard to say if all apps can run through some kind of converter that turns applications into a more touch-screen friendly versions but I’d say many applications will remain, for many years, with the intention of keyboard and mouse control only. Personally, I don’t think the keyboard and mouse are going anywhere in a hurry. What about you?
Are you ready for the switch to more “immersive”, Metro-style apps? Or are you a die hard keyboard and mouse user?