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Metro UI for Desktop Applications

    General discussion

  • I would like to make a suggestion regarding windows 8. I don't know if this is possible or makes sense :)

    It's awesome to use a full-featured Desktop Program on a Tablet, but with a touch Interface this would be just perfect.

    So make it possible for developers to change the UI of a Desktop program to a tablet friendly Metro UI, and offer those in the Market. (So just the UI not the whole program)

     

    Is this a realistic Idea?


    • Edited by Tommmmmmmm Tuesday, December 20, 2011 12:04 PM
    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 12:03 PM

All replies

  • Hi Gurpwa,

    Multi touch is available today in Windows 7 so this is not a difficult thing to do even with Windows7.  Separating the business logic from the UI has long been a great design paradigm so if your application is already designed that way, you would be in great shape do this.

    You could certainly change your UI with a system setting or by trying to detect what type of system you are on.  I would make it a user choice however.  Most slate devices have a keyboard and mouse set of periphrials.

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Tuesday, December 20, 2011 1:27 PM
    Moderator
  • I would make it a user choice however.

    I agree with you, but not all the Users are able to change UI's so my idea was to offer those "Skins" in the Market, so people can download them if they want.

    Allowing anyone to create those "skins" would quickly make most of the normal windows software (like Photoshop) available for touch. (and maybe even kinect if there will be a generic Kinect functionality for the Kinect)

    Most slate devices have a keyboard and mouse set of periphrials.

    Yeah, but sometimes I haven't got mouse or keyboard or it's impractical to take them, in case of tablets they are most often used on the go.

    Thursday, December 22, 2011 1:38 PM
  • Hi Gurpwa,

    Again, you could do all of this without making it a Metro App.  Metro Apps are self-contained and sandboxed.

    Metro Style apps have to pass a series of requirements.  Do you think your proposal would break items 1.2 and 3.3 here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh694083.aspx. ?

    -Jeff

     


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Thursday, December 22, 2011 2:04 PM
    Moderator
  • I think only a few Companies will make their software available as a Metro app in the Market, so my suggestion was to make this "conversion" from desktop program to a metro app done by others that have nothing to do with the software. Those guys can't sell apps they don't own, so they will just sell the UI.

    If I have Photoshop installed on my windows 8 Tablet, I can then go to the Windows Store and buy a Metro Interface for 5$ or so. So now I got a full featured Photoshop CS5 Extended with a touch interface on my slate, even though Adobe never made it a Metro app. I don't have to rebuy my software for my tablet and can still use it with touch on a tablet if I want, by using the UI I've bought. Also, as said before, this way (i think) most of the apps will quickly be available with a metro UI, so Users can use this, if they want.

    I hope you get what I mean now, probably it was because English isn't my native language.

    by the way: I'm not actually a developer, just call me 'advanced user' or so. I don't wan't to sell apps, but only help you make the next windows better.
    • Edited by Tommmmmmmm Monday, December 26, 2011 7:25 PM just added some shit :D
    Monday, December 26, 2011 7:22 PM
  • Thank you Gurpwa for the explanation.  Your English is perfect!

    I now fully understand why you may want to do this.  There is no way to communicate between Metro Apps and desktop applications.  This was done by design to keep the Metro Style applications in their own sandbox, so that they cannot affect the system and present a security risk.  The product teams do read these forums posts so at least your idea will be exposed to them.

    Thanks for your feedback Gurwa!  Also thanks for your interest and desire to make Windows better!

    -Jeff


    Jeff Sanders (MSFT)
    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 1:07 PM
    Moderator
  • Well then in that case i do have a similar question, I am an avid gamer and started testing out win 8 recently, I didn't like the interfacing options of just an icon in a box with a name so i attempted to make a metro app to link to the .exe game launch file, that failed and then as i dug deeper i found that for security reasons, things like .exe, silverlight, and flash were disabled from the metro interfacing options, it there a way to open .lnk files for shortcuts? Or at least access to the coding from the main Metro UI that can be used to call links to the applications, or even a reference point that can call from the main Metro UI already linked/Installed Applications? That might be something to be looked at because at the moment, the UI being pretty and all would only be an investment for a ARM processor tablet for those like me like visual consistency. I wouldn't even mind a way to accept requests from custom built Metro interfaces so that all programmers aren't forced into taking functionality away from their products.
    Monday, March 12, 2012 2:46 PM
  • There is no standard way to achieve that, because metro apps are sandboxed for security reasons, and cannot call external code, neither browse disks for .lnk (Except special  location, but external code isn't allowed)

    Anyway, the problem of desktop icons in main metro UI will certainly be fixed in the future (because it's just ugly ;) ) 


    - NV

    Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:37 AM