Back at the BUILD Conference at Anaheim last year, Microsoft gives away a Developer Preview of Windows 8. Coming this late February, Microsoft will ship again another build of the next generation of Windows and by this time, its a Beta or others may called it as a Consumer Preview. A lot of users, mostly non-developers were very disappointed on WDP and as most of us know, it is intended for release to the developers so that they can work on the Metro styled apps earlier. Common issue on the Developer Preview is how the user can personalize the new operating system, especially the Start Screen.
Start Screen Personalisation
With Windows 8 “now”, user can easily customize the Start Screen based on the images available in the Personalize panel of the PC settings (previously known as Control Panel). Chris Flores, Director of Communications in Windows pointed out that you cannot use a photograph as a background of the Metro-style Start Screen for a reason that a photo will not stretch and scale as the user add more tiles and performs zooming in and out of the Start Screen. Instead of using a photo, you can choose from 8 different images or parallax backgrounds and 9 colors available as default where it will matches the shades and font colors on the entire UI.
Using your mouse.
Users using a non-touch device will not be left out in the dark, as Windows 8 improves mouse gestures on the beta version.
1. Accessing Metro style apps is very much easy now. With a simple scroll on mouse scroll wheel, you can swipe sideways from the Metro style apps (working on WDP). For the semantic zoom feature, a new button placed on the bottom right edge of the screen will control the new gesture. This is to easily navigate on your group of tiles.
2. Clicking on the Windows flag at the bottom left corner of your screen will divert you to the desktop if its open.
3. Clicking on the upper right corner of the screen reveals the charm bar, this is to easily navigate to the items ,mostly located at the right side of the screen.
4. Pointing / Moving the mouse on the upper left side of the screen when Metro-style app is in full screen mode or snap mode, shows a thumbnail of other open apps which you can easily choose by using the mouse scroll wheel and by just clicking the thumbnail, the chosen app will be opened. Much easier compared to the swiping in/out in the WDP using a mouse.
We’ve always mentioned the charm bar previously, and in the beta version, minor changes has been made on this feature. Putting your finger on the single pixel strip “accidentally” at the right side of the screen, will reveal the charm bar as a transparent one which means that the user didn’t really want to open the bar. This applies the same when using mouse. And since this instance appears only when the charm bar was accidentally swipe, it rapidly disappears.
Closing the Metro style Apps
In WDP, closing a metro style app is very unusual since you have to do it via Task Manager, which consumes a lot of time and gestures. Apps that are not visible on your screen consume less resources or not at all unless you access it. But most of us do not want a bunch of thumbnails appearing on the screen when choosing an app that we want to open. In Windows 8 today, killing an open app is very easy. Just drag your finger down from the top portion of the screen and in the middle portion of the screen, it will resize as a thumbnail informing the user that the said app was chosen and dragging it directly at the bottom of the screen closes the app. This applies also when using a mouse.