Windows 8 Consumer Preview – Tasks and Windows
Having used the Win 8 Consumer Preview a lot since yesterday, I wanted to quickly touch upon a couple of things that are not very apparent ( not that much is). Windows 8 has a beautiful way of allowing you to work with two windows at the same time. and a much more useful task manager.
First, the window management bit. If you find yourself needing to keep visible two windows at the same time for whatever reason, you have a better way of doing this in Windows 8 than you did in previous versions. Windows 7 had a good way resizing windows by dragging them to the edges and snapping them to the side for a side by side view. It is only logical that one of those windows will be your primary one and the other will be the secondary one. Windows 8 allows you to arrange them in just that way.
The switcher on the left is activated by moving the pointer to the left top corner and then moving down along the edge. Then you can drag any of the open applications to the left or the right and Windows will automatically arrange it to cover one third of the screen
The open applications will arrange themselves by spliting the screen in a one third ratio. There is a standard IE 10 windows on the left and the mail app on the right. Unfortunately only Metro apps will prvide you any usefulness from this functionality. Like the refresh and new mail buttons that you see in the mail app. Dragging the separator left or right will change the dominant app and you can also get rid of an app by dragging the separator to the nearest edge
The availability of well made Metro Apps will have to be available in plenty to make full use of the window management enhancements of Windows 8. It will be exciting to see what developers do with these new tools. Maybe apps that are designed as companions to each other can make use of this. I don’t know. We will all have to wait and see.
The default view in the task manager is a very plain one with not much going on. Just a list of the running apps and their icons. What you get after clicking on the More details button is also very different than before, but also familiar
The detailed view of the task manager has a lot of details. Process, performance, history, startup and a few other things. This, the performance view, provides a nice graphical snapshot of whats going on.
What I personally found interesting was the Network tab which provides a view of the data usage by the running or installed applications. This is what I really need in windows Phone as well. Notice the presence of Metered Network, presumably for tablets and such where you might be on a mobile network. Very nice.