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New Windows Phone update is also in store

Windows 8 sales have been mixed, with Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) seeing strong OEM support and moving a lot of licenses, but struggling in sales -- particularly among enthusiasts.  At the root of the controversy is the rich graphical GUI formerly known as "Metro", which today is referred to as Windows 8 UI.  

There've been unconfirmed rumors that a Windows 8 update code-named Windows Blue was in store for later this year or early next year.  Now those rumors have seemingingly been confirmed, and Microsoft has dropped an indication that it make respond to criticism and tweak the UI.

In a job posting, first noted by Charon at Ma-config.com, Microsoft seeks an experienced software engineer, writing:

We’re looking for an excellent, experienced SDET to join the Core Experience team in Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE). The Core Experience features are the centerpiece of the new Windows UI, representing most of what customers touch and see in the OS, including: the start screen; application lifecycle; windowing; and personalization. Windows Blue promises to build and improve upon these aspects of the OS, enhancing ease of use and the overall user experience on devices and PCs worldwide.

In a second post, Twitter user @h0x0d (Walking Cat on Twitter) notes a second post, pertaining to Windows Phone Blue:

Windows Phone Blue

Excel MX is expected to OneNote MX and Lynx MX as a touch-optimized offering available from the Windows Store.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley indicates Microsoft is gunning hard to try to deliver the UI and services overhaul by the end of this upcoming summer.  The refresh is expected to be the first cross platform push for Microsoft's new unified strategy; Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows Server 2012, Hotmail, and SkyDrive will all receive similar makeovers.

Windows 8 UI critics shouldn't get too excited -- the new UI isn't expected to bring back the "Start" button, a perpetual criticism of the Windows 8 UI.

A major focus of the Blue update is to improve APIs to make it easier to design an app that works with only a few modifications, on both Windows 8 and Windows Phone.

Sources: Microsoft [1], [2 via Twitter]



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RE: Brace yourselves....
By chripuck on 2/19/2013 11:15:46 AM , Rating: 2
The problem with Windows 8 is that it is only a few tweaks away from being really awesome, even with the Metro UI.

1.) Get rid of the Metro multi-tasking. You have the task bar, it's been there for 20 years, it works, even for tablets. You can add a swipe up action to show screenshots of each running program if need be, but it multi-tasking should be done in one place.

2.) Allow Metro applications to be windowed on the task bar. Make this a configurable setting, desktop/laptops have it off, tablets have it on (so the Windows button works as intended.)

3.) Put the Start Button back. It doesn't have to bring up the old start menu, it still goes to the Metro menu, but it brings everyone comfort. Give it a flashy animation to show it "blowing up"

4.) For heaven's sake, make application folders collapsible (and collapsed by default) when viewing All Apps in the Metro interface.


"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini














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