If you’re not a fan of the Live Tiles used on the Windows 8/8.1 Start screen, then you might want to look away now — Microsoft is experimenting with the idea of making these tiles even more interactive, giving users additional information on the over-sized tiles without the need to open individual apps.
As Engadget reports, Microsoft researchers in Asia have been busy adding an extra level of interactivity to the now-familiar Live Tiles. When touched, the tiles expand, displaying the relevant contents right on the Start screen itself. In some cases — such as the integrated Mail app — the results look a lot like an Android widget. Videos showing the features in action have since been pulled by Microsoft, but not before they were duplicated on Windows Blog Italia and elsewhere.
The team has also designed an experimental feature called Desktop Interactive Tile, where all the desktop programs that are currently running are listed on the Start screen for easy access. “Interactive Tiles were introduced to empower the Start screen with an intermediate access level to applications,” runs the official description as noted by ZDNet.
Of course there’s no guarantee that these features will ever make it to the final version of Windows, but it’s interesting to note the directions in which Microsoft is looking to take its flagship operating system. Integrating the modern, touchscreen-friendly Start screen with the traditional desktop environment has led to a lot of head-scratching at the company, and there are more tweaks in this area in the first major update for Windows 8.1.
[Image courtesy of Windows Blog Italia]