One product family, one platform, one store, eh? Well it sounds appealing and all, but Microsoft needs to deliver on this promise lest they fall further down the slope in the mobile and other emerging markets in the tech world like projected screens. While their engineers toil away in the Redmond campus, though, the company showed off Windows 10 to the world. Unnoticed by others, though, they showed off overhauled user interfaces for their other devices as well. Don’t believe me? Hit the jump to find out!
Yep, that looks very different already from the standard user interface the Xbox One currently uses. It is just a mock-up for now, but there’s a larger emphasis on games taking the center stage with the larger tiles, with apps being smaller. The Home and Store tabs are missing from this mock-up, but that isn’t anything to be worried about.
There’s a battery life indicator for the controller permanently on the top of the screen. I don’t own a One myself, so I’m not entirely sure if the Live TV tile at the bottom next to the owl is new or not. Microsoft has been working to make the Xbox One UI more friendly to controllers now that Kinect is no longer bundled with all consoles.
Mobile and Hybrid with a new Start menu
That’s also interesting. Windows Phone looks the same on a 4-inch-ish device all the way to the left as it does to the Lumia 1520-ish-sized phablet to its immediate right, but that’s also true for a 7-inch or 8-inch tablet right next to it. Is Microsoft really going ahead with the idea of turning Surface RT into a Windows Phone OS for bigger devices? I certainly hope so, because that would make combating Android and iOS much easier with a more consistent UI experience.
It remains to be seen if they fix the niggles that are still outstanding though. There’s no Bluetooth HID support for Windows Phone devices and I don’t recall there being any option to show the phone’s screen on a monitor without using Project or Wi-Di streaming to a compatible monitor. If they are fixing this then that makes Windows Phone much more enticing. I wonder if they’re going to rebrand it to Windows Mobile 10 as well.
Also, is there a new full Start menu design they haven’t talked about yet? The tablet propped up in tent mode shows the UI changes between the new Start menu on the desktop and the old full-screen one, but for the first time there appears to be a new layout for Modern apps in horizontal as well as vertical groups. I’ve honestly wanted that for a long time. But that seems to clash with the Start menu shown in Microsoft’s video demoing the Continuum feature for hybrid devices.
In that mock-up, the “new” Start menu literally just blows up to full the screen and still includes shortcuts to apps and folder linkes along with the normal column-arranged group of Modern apps. So which design will win out? It remains to be seen, but when people start getting their hands on the Technical Preview later today we’ll begin to see things take shape. This is going to be a very interesting twelve months.
Source: Windows Blog