In its lengthy Keynote at the BUILD 2015 developer conference, Microsoft gave a detailed presentation on the new cross-platform Windows 10 operating system which will run the same app on different devices like the smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and TVs. Only the interface will have some changes.
The details disclosed in the keynote included info about Microsoft Edge, the successor to Internet Explorer, as well as demos about assorted HoloLens gear for Mocrosoft’s Windows Holographic augmented reality experience which it is building into Windows 10.
There were quite a few mobile-related announcements too. Microsoft has opened up the Windows platform and made porting of Android and iOS apps to Windows easy. Continuum for Phones was also demonstrated which can transform your smartphone into a desktop when connected to a bigger screen and where you can start apps like PowerPoint, Excel or Outlook from your smartphone and then continue to work on them on larger screens. The Interface adapts to different input methods and the transition between devices is seamless.
However, during the Keynote, Microsoft’s Windows Phone chief Joe Belfiore didn’t show anything much about the actual interface we will have on our Windows 10 phone when it hits the shelves in a few months. But no worries, this deficiency has been removed by a separate official Windows Blog Post explaining the design in detail and demonstrating it with several pictures.
For the design, they have taken an approach similar to the one used for designing a city, first creating a foundation or a grid which maintains the order and standards to make it work and is also flexible enough to allow expression.
Well as for the design, first off there’s the Hamburger control or the Menu icon on the top left corner which is the main navigation element. This position is somewhat unusual as most of us are right handed and hold the phone in our right hand. The Hamburger icon is used as the ‘home’ for an app. Microsoft may allow both hamburger and pivot controls in an app but promises to “display the right control at the right time on the right device.”
The three dots context menu is located on the right hand corner at the bottom. Microsoft has not yet decided whether to arrange the “recent apps” in the taskbar switcher from right to left or the opposite. In a PC, the task order is from left to right while in phones it has traditionally been from right to left. The company is collecting feedback for this before taking any decision about it.
Albert Shum, Design Team lead at Microsoft’s Operating Systems Group says in the blog,” Windows 10 is just the start of a new way of designing and operating. Keep in mind, we’re thinking of Windows 10 “as a service” with a plan to provide ongoing updates and improvements. In particular most of the apps we talked about here will be getting regular updates through the store so you’ll see refinements continue to happen after our broad public availability.”
What do you think of the new Windows 10 interface? Of course we will get to know more about it when the Windows 10 phone actually gets into our hands. The date in the Calendar pic shows September 2015, so this might be the month when it actually hits the market.