Microsoft Windows 8 Could Incorporate Mobile Design

The next incarnation of Microsoft's Windows operating system could include an "unlock" screen like the Windows Phone and an Office-style ribbon.

Microsoft's next version of Windows could include a version of the ribbon interface already present in later versions of Office, according to an early build of the operating system, which two prominent bloggers supposedly previewed. Their postings also include images from that build, including a lock screen whose elements suggest Microsoft is taking a page from its mobile efforts in developing its next traditional OS.

"This is based, quite clearly, on the Windows Phone 7 lock screen, and is just as attractive," Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott, two bloggers with a track record of delving into Microsoft's proprietary code base, wrote in a pair of connected postings on Rivera's Within Windows blog. "The display includes the time, day of week, the date (month and day), and icons for power management (for portable machines only) and ease of access."

Nothing in the two April postings indicates how Rivera and Thurrott accessed this alleged early build of "Windows 8." Although Microsoft has stayed adamantly tight-lipped about a possible release date for the next version of Windows, a growing amount of online chatter suggests it could make an appearance sometime in late 2012. As such, the elements discussed by the two bloggers could undergo radical changes in the interim--should this early build even represent the main thrust of Microsoft's thinking and development, as opposed to a test or secondary prototype.

Chief among the (possible) new elements is the addition of Microsoft's ribbon interface to Windows Explorer. "If Microsoft goes through with this change, the Ribbon will replace the menu and toolbar in today's Explorer windows," Rivera and Thurrott wrote, "and as in Office, it will make many more features visibly discoverable, albeit at the expense of on-screen real estate and, we think, attractiveness."

The Windows 8 ribbon apparently includes an "extensive" file menu, as well as tools for viewing libraries, manipulating images and managing drive assets.

For more, read the eWEEK article: Microsoft's Windows 8 Could Include Ribbon, Mobile Unlock Screen: Report.

This article was originally published on 04-04-2011
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