Today at AllThingsD event, Microsoft showed off Windows 8 interface for tablet based PC’s, based on the metro design language we’ve seen in the Zune software as well as on Windows Phone 7.
All apps will run inside of the tablet UI, which’ll have a task bar style bar down the right of the screen at all times. The “start screen” clearly shows a Microsoft store, a feature previously rumored to be coming to Windows 8, which’s essentially now confirmed.
Microsoft also said that “after decades of ever-increasing system requirements that characterized Windows releases through Vista, Microsoft is once again building an operating system that demands fewer resources than its predecessor” which is fantastic news for consumers and enterprises hoping to use Windows 8.
At the D9 event today, Microsoft said they they also realized how important social networks are to people, and will be keeping this in mind with Windows 8. We assume this means some sort of built in social networking support. The company also confirmed that tiles have replaced the start menu in this form factor. Windows 8 includes multiple types of keyboards — which’re very Windows Phone 7 styled — including a split keyboard for vertical slates.
It appears that Microsoft allows the normal desktop experience to be shown as well, with the company opening an Excel spreadsheet in the demo and the tablet reverting to the normal Windows shell. In saying this, the immersive UI is only one step away and can share the desktop with the normal Windows shell, too. Engadget noted that “Kara (All Things D) seemed fairly upset that Office still takes you back to what’s effectively a Windows 7 interface; the Microsoft team seems to think that Office will be lagging behind when it comes to a refined interface.”
It appears that the tablet UI can run on “normal” PC’s too, with a Thinkpad X220 showing off the new UI being on stage.
Here’re the screenshots: