Day 44: Life From A Touch Perspective With Windows 8

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In my last post at the end of December I was two weeks into my touch experience on Windows 8 with my Acer Iconia Tab W500 and that post focused on issues with web based interfaces that depend on mouse hover to bring up menu’s and other interactive items on the page.

Since then one of the system features I tried on the Windows 8 Developer Preview was the Refresh and Reset options.  You can read in depth at the Building Windows 8 Blog about this feature but the condensed version looks like this:

  • Refresh:  Maintains your personal data, Metro style apps and settings from your system and reinstalls Windows.
  • Reset: Takes off all personal data, apps and settings and then reinstalls Windows.

As you will learn in the Building Windows 8 post desktop apps are not saved during a refresh but a nice html based file is stored on the desktop to summarize all of the desktop apps that were previously installed.  In a Reset they are taken off the system just like Metro style apps are.

I decided to try both of these processes by doing the Refresh first and then running through a system Reset.  I plugged in my USB flash drive which contained the Windows 8 Developer Preview installation files and each process went without a hitch.

There is a lot of value to be had in both of these features although I would leave a Refresh as a final troubleshooting step after attempting a System Restore to correct a system issue.  Main reason for that is the removal of all desktop apps.  On the other hand a Reset is a great step prior to donating, selling or recycling a machine as it removes all personal data, settings, programs, etc.

The next area is one where my frustration is growing in the touch world and that is the ability to manipulate items on the screen. I am talking about being able to drag and drop either text or graphical elements.

I have searched high and low and have not yet to come up with the exact method to do these things.  I came across this document at the Microsoft MSDN website which goes into detail about how a touch interface should function and also provides info on touch gestures for Windows. 

Unfortunately, I am not able to make most of those gestures work in the Windows 8 Developer Preview.  I hope it is either me missing something in the translation from screen instructions to action or maybe these things will be cleaned up when we see the Windows 8 Beta next month.

Until then I will continue to use my Windows 8 Developer Preview tablet on a daily basis as I do now and keep on heading down this touch based road.

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4 thoughts on “Day 44: Life From A Touch Perspective With Windows 8

  1. Hi Richard,
    I work at microsoft on windows 8. I am interested to learn more about your frustration on touch that you mentioned above – “where my frustration is growing in the touch world and that is the ability to manipulate items on the screen. I am talking about being able to drag and drop either text or graphical elements”
    Is that in the desktop or metro environment? can you give a specific example of this so we can understand it better?

    thanks,
    ramesh

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