A couple of screenshots have just leaked of Microsoft’s Windows 8 tablet user interface.
Currently in pre-beta, Windows 8 is Microsoft’s shot at building a UI that’s suitable for both tablets and PCs. Windows 7 is not being ported to tablets. Early versions of Windows 8 have reportedly been shipped to Microsoft’s hardware OEM partners. So far, the UI hasn’t been seen, but two new screenshots indicate it is based on tiles, very much like Windows Phone 7.
The screenshot above shows the home screen, which features Microsoft’s Bing search engine front and center. Underneath are big tiles for shortcuts to Web apps or Web pages. Each app opens in a full-screen version of Internet Explorer, according to Within Windows, which first published the screenshots (The site is currently down. The screenshots have been republished at WinRumors)
The screenshot below shows a new e-reader app that includes built-in support for Adobe’s PDF format. Looking at the diagrams in the screenshot, it will include page scrubbing (to quickly scrub through a document) and multi-touch pinching and zooming. Apple may not like that.
Microsoft appears to be pushing a new file format called AppX (.appx), which will reportedly allow Windows Phone 7 developers to repackage apps in AppX and offer them through an app store that will be built into Windows 8. Sound familiar?
Our take? It looks OK. The tiled interface is pretty good on Windows Phone 7, but why are there still scrollbars if the interface is full-screen?