BitFlipper said:staceyw said:*snip*
Yes you touched on the idea I'm talking about. The "shell" would provide an alternative environment for WP7-like apps to run in. In this environment, the idea is not to emulate the phone, hence the typical phone buttons and fixed screen resolution are not required. Instead, these apps can take advantage of the larger screen size etc.
So the idea is, someone is creating a WP7 app. Within VS, there is an option to also target this "WT7" framework. If the developer chooses this option, they then get two projects that basically use the same source code. The WP7 project is specifically running on the WP7 emulator or WP7 hardware. The "WT7" version runs as a fullscreen app that can take advantage of the higher resolution etc. Yet 99% of the source code is the same. There could be runtime or compile time flags that the developer can use to determine which platform it is actually running on at the time, in cases where different code paths are required, but other than handling different resolutions and availability of various hardware features (no GPS on "WT7" version, hardware keyboard on "WT7" version), the code will be mostly the same.
From a consumer pov, the way it works is like this: They run the "WT7" shell, which is a fullscreen application. They don't see the same UI as WP7 (no tiles, no phone features etc). There will be icons for installed apps. There will also be a button to go to the app store. When they go to the app store, they can search and browse apps, just like you would be able to do from a WP7 phone. Except in this case, apps that are WP7-only will be filtered out. Apps that support both WP7 and WT7 (or only WT7) will be listed. The install/uninstall mechanism is the same as it is for WP7 - in other words - simple.
An additional feature could be that WP7-only apps could also be allowed to run in this shell, but in that case the fixed resolution and hardware buttons will be emulated. But this is not the main idea behind this. This could be a nice way for 175 million Windows 7 users to try out WP7 apps though, even if they don't already have a WP7 device.
Some of the big advantages of this is that, if WP7 is popular, and many apps are developed, this opens up these apps for Windows tablets to use as well (and any touch-enabled PC). In addition, you immediately create a much larger installed base of consumers that could buy apps from the app store, making it more attractive for developers. How many copies of Windows 7 were sold again? OK, only a small percentage of these have touch screens, but apps can be developed so that they can work with a "single touch" as well (mouse) or with the hardware keyboard.
I don't know, to me it seems like something like this could be worth it.
Why not use tiles and some of the other concepts from WP7? Just optimize it for the different screen size instead of just scaling it. If you are going to support the same programming model across both devices, it makes sense to have the UX be consistent.