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Jensen Harris Walks Us Through the Windows 8 UI

10 minutes, 10 seconds


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Jensen Harris from the Windows User Experience team walks us through how Microsoft reimagined Windows with the new Metro UI in "Windows 8". Be sure to visit BUILDWindows.com for more information on our developer conference. 


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  • AlexAlex

    Great stuff Jensen, you did the right thing with office
    and you do the right thing now :-)

  • Ian WalkerIan2 In geeks we trust ...

    Awesome work on Metro, looking forward to playing with a Win8 machine and porting my Win7 apps over.

    Love the photo login, charms , live tiles and 'touch first' concepts. 

    Yesterday I thought  Apple might be untouchable today - meh ..



    BTW You said 'reimagination' a bit too much

  • stuff looks pretty neat. hopefully it will be tougher for third parties to crowd up that nice IE 10 UI.

  • Nic Fillinghamnic Easily Distracted

    Hmm.... not sure if we had enough Nine Guys on set.....

  • Richard HayAnotherWin95 A Technology Geek Serving His Country!

    The extra Channel 9 guys came in handy as a stand for the slate!  Great video and info.

  • HonzajsczHonzajscz

    Have anybody seen old windows apps on the ARM architecture?

  • Nvidia Or DieNvidia Or Die


  • MagicAndre1981Magic​Andre1981 xperf addicted

    Nice video, but confusing. The new startscreen is designed to have maximum usable space. But the Windows Explorer is designed the opposite. The Ribbons uses too much vertical space. How can this be? This is confusing.

    I hope to play with the Developer Preview later this day.

  • pookemonpookemon

    Hmm - that's a "nice" video on how to use a "slate". How about the use of a PC. You know, with a keyboard, a non-touch screen monitor and a mouse. An actual PC - not these Metrosexual useless toys.

  • pookemonpookemon

    Oh and WTF would I want this on a server for? Servers are stressed enough without having to run this pointless crap.

  • Dominic Ryan OsborneLZIM A nymph a day

    Still not specifically saying, this [Metro] is the UI for phones (which would be redundant) and consoles (Xbox 3).. Sad

  • Dominic Ryan OsborneLZIM A nymph a day

    @pookemon: y u mad dude?

    As the front end UI for Windows server OS, I'd love to see a long awaited redesign of the entire windows management console. It has barely evolved and they won't intentionally mess it up. What Metro can probably do is speed up and ease access to common options while still giving you access to all the nobs and switches (I assume you're a salty admin) that we need to keep desktops and servers running.

    I've been waiting for MS to upgrade that user experience for admins for years. You're right though in that MS needs to showcase just how Metro will change how we work with the Microsoft Management Console (and if Metro's multi-touch shorthand is even faster than using keyboard shortcuts) and if it helps speed up and ease deep configuration for the server itself and its clients machines it'll be worth it. Or just use the classic desktop view if MMC hasn't made it to Metro yet.  



  • Dominic Ryan OsborneLZIM A nymph a day


    Why would they? the OS is claimed to run Windows 7 apps, but no such claim has been made for Windows 7 drivers or Metro support, that I've seen yet, because that's out of Microsoft's hands. But that doesn't mean your apps will be compatible. I'm not taking any such claims of appcompat for granted since every new MS OS is a pain for driver support and BSODs until the nth service pack is released and software developers get on board with the new platform with optimized drivers.

    Some don't even use Windows 7's new toys because the developers are stuck in ancient design methodologies. It is to laugh really, you have all kinds of driver conflicts and compatibility issues with each version of Windows, that's not [and never] going to change. If anything once Windows 8 matures appcompat will mature, but devs will just make native applications for it regardless.

    What saves Windows is the software industries supporting Windows moving to that new platform, at least enough that the apps don't crash (and no even then) with updated versions of their old software, OR eventual support for multi-touch and Metro versions for Windows 8 (users have to have multi-touch input for there to be required support no?).. It is hoped that most of the stuff you need to use already are being converted to run on Windows 8  by launch and have support for Metro. Otherwise on x86, Windows 8, should as claimed by Microsoft run Windows 7 apps and drivers without any hiccups, but you'll still get and need new drivers versions when those updates ship.. Getting that same support for ARM will be >.> painful without software developers supporting it and enough devices to warrant that support.

    And it is hoped that MS is hard at work on generic driver models to relieve some of that pain for ARM powered devices (and desktops) that need to run Windows 8 (hopefully set-top boxes, mobiles and consoles), maybe MS will show it when they have hardware ready. They were more interested in showing a functional x86 build (without any BSODs or the like) than Win8 preview for all hardware platforms (Phones Consoles and Servers) it will eventually support,  and how it can be appropriate for each, and have something break on stage, versus something specific and flashy (Samsung Slate) that is ready for the market (Microsoft Store), and not some way off down the road and of little immediate interest to consumers. 

    You can check this out though:


  • Vuosaaren ATK huolto- ja korjauspalvelut,Vuosaaren ATK Vuosaaren ATK

    A great that a developers can now download all the code that BUILD attendees receive, including a preview release of Windows 8.

  • I am really curious how Win8's UI will deal with pen input, or even better, pen+touch input.

  • Erling LimmErling Limm

    Awesome Jensen!
    Loving the new UI and the enhancements in the desktop! Can't wait!

    But: some of the colors used are absolutely just plain ugly, for example the green color that was shown at build. The search or charms dialog should be glass instead, with a sharp edge on the border. This would be absolutely beautiful.

    Also, tiles in both Win8 and WP7(.5) should be like the buttons on the superbar in Win7 when you hold the mouse over. Do a POC and you'll see ;)

    Another note: I love the ribbon in both Office and Win7.. but, as it stands in Win8 explorer now, it seems visually off - as if it was just thrown in there without regard for design at all.
    Just make it blend more in with the path/search bar below.

    Oh, and replace tabs in explorer.exe with the ones in the latest visual studio, they look better.
    Update the UI in mmc.exe too.

    Summary: better looking colors, gradients and glass!

    Looking forward to the beta :) <3

  • Fabulous FadzFabulous_​Fadz One does not simply walk into Mordor

    Up to now, I wondered how the metro UI would fit for large screens and thought that it wouldn't work. But after seeing a video of it in action, I like it. I especially love the fact that you can drop down into the traditional way of doing things and run some non-metro apps. I do a lot of work inside powershell and can't imagine Windows without it anymore. Still have one machine that has to run Windows XP, and that too now has powershell.

    Think the charms are great too. Hope there will be pen support, and good support at that because the only way I envision working with a slate/tablet is that it have a stylus so I can take notes. Or just show off.

    Downloading the preview bits now. And that's a big deal. I never run beta tools (let alone pre-beta) for anything with the exception of Orcas, and VS2010 which I just couldn't wait for. This here will be interesting.

  • Fabulous FadzFabulous_​Fadz One does not simply walk into Mordor

    My installation is almost complete, and I just thought of something when looking at the video again. For things like the charms, will they appear on the reverse side for left-handed people when they change a setting to say I am left handed. Much like mouse buttons reverse. Not that I'm left handed but I just thought it might be a good idea to have the metro theme optimised for lefties as well.

  • Larry LarsenLarryLarsen "Lightbulb"

    @Fabulous_Fadz: I just used your question about left handed users on Channel 9 Live. If you missed it live, keep an eye out for my interview with Sam Moreau on WinUI. It should be up in a day here.



  • DeniseDenise

    Thanks Jensen There's a lot of useful information here, good article, thanks for your knowledge.

  • Fabulous FadzFabulous_​Fadz One does not simply walk into Mordor

    @LarryLarsen: Thanks. Wasn't watching live, but will be sure to watch the video when it shows up.

  • JiteenJiteen

    Awesome work!
    Eager to work on Windows 8.
    Thanks MS.

  • @pookemon: Have to agree when I tried it on my PC it really was not intuitive to using a Mouse and Keyboard. This is the problem creating a cross platform OS and why Apple and Google created separate OS for different hardware.

  • Fabulous FadzFabulous_​Fadz One does not simply walk into Mordor

    ,LarryLarsen wrote

    @Fabulous_Fadz: I just used your question about left handed users on Channel 9 Live. If you missed it live, keep an eye out for my interview with Sam Moreau on WinUI. It should be up in a day here.



    Looked for the video but cannot find it. Could you provide a link to it?

  • Wow that is not to bad, thankfully I watched the whole video and saw the desktop because i was really missing it!

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