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Beginning Windows 8 Application Development by David Fulop, György Balássy, Zoltan Arvai, István Novák

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Chapter 2

Using Windows 8

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN IN THIS CHAPTER:

  • Using Windows 8 with the mouse and keyboard
  • Using Windows 8 with multi-touch devices
  • Leveraging the features of the Start screen, Live Tiles, and the charm bar
  • Switching to the desktop and using traditional Windows applications

Windows 8 changes a lot in terms of the user interface (UI). It was built with a more touch-centric approach in mind. The desktop has a few slightly changed features, but most of the traditional, mouse-based workflows remain untouched. On the new Windows 8 style interface, virtually everything is new. Live Tiles aren’t just shortcuts; Windows 8 style applications aren’t handled like traditional Windows apps. Even the Start screen contains features the old Start menu didn’t.

Although the user may learn these things intuitively, for a developer, it is imperative to know all the nooks and crannies of using the Windows 8 UI. Only with extensive knowledge of these capabilities can you build really engaging and intuitive apps that users use not just to complete a task, but enjoy doing so.

Two Worlds, One Operating System

Windows 8 has two distinct UIs: the ordinary desktop UI (which probably you are used to) and the completely different and new Windows 8 UI. Why is the Windows 8 UI so important?

In the past few decades, users have experienced the triumph of the mouse over nearly every other controlling device on PCs. For an ordinary Windows user, using a mouse is considered to be the easiest way ...

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