Microsoft Research Is Trying To Use Interactive Live Tiles To Improve Multitasking In Windows Modern Apps

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It appears Microsoft has pulled down these videos. We have embedded a copy found on YouTube:

Few hours back we reported about the video from Microsoft Research on their Interactive Live Tiles project. There is another video of the same project in which Microsoft Research is making use of Interactive Live Tiles for improving multi-tasking with modern Windows apps. In the video above, they show a scenario where OneDrive app’s interactive Live Tile is placed on the left bar on the screen while the main content on the screen is the Mail app. You can still browse through your files on your OneDrive app without leaving the Mail app.

Multitasking Windows Future

This project features an Interactive-Tile UI system that enables users to access and manipulate Live Tiles in an interactive way with touch gestures. Interactive Tile’s UI is responsive and flexible to an app’s content and function. Users can provide quick input to the Interactive Tile on the Start screen. With a perception of Start as an entrance page, Interactive Tiles were introduced to empower the start screen with an intermediate access level to applications.

Multitasking Windows Future 1

In another scenario, you can make a quick reply to social notifications on a interactive Live Tile.

Multitasking Windows Future 2

Here is an another cool trick MSR is trying to do, you can transfer interactive Live Tile across devices. In the video above, user taps the People Interactive Tile on a large display using his phone and the Live Tile now appears on his screen. He can continue the action on the device.

Hopefully, Microsoft Windows product team will listen to MSR’s ideas!

via: WalkingCat

About Author

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • tom

    it’s sad, that they are so slooooow. MS – release it NOW!

    • nickcraze

      incredible how ignorant people like to sound. It takes time to test and release software. It’s not I created it and done!

      • tom

        Are you joking? How much time? Years?
        widgest are in android from beginning.

        they put independent volume control in WP after 4 years of testing?
        No, they are incredible slooooow.
        And lost marketshare.

        • CyberAngel

          ignorance examples:
          NT Kernel was introduced in WP 8
          WP 8 has been gaining world wide market share
          the more you write – the more you show

        • Lj

          Sure, because you know, android widgets have the same functionality as live tiles. And of course you have to force quit your OS every couple of days to keep it working. I would rather have a reliable clean OS even if it takes them a little longer to get new features out.
          That said, it would be nice if things moved a little faster, and I have hope that it will after what I heard at Build. Write once run everywhere, one can dream!

        • Nham Thien Duong

          Actually widgets are a great idea for Windows, imagine an app that only exists on the start screen, you can use it for the most basic things, and ignore it for the most part when you’re not using it, but then again, Microsoft must first release the A.P.I.’s to let that happen… :-

        • Pedro

          widgets are on windows vista too, and first 2005 vs 2007, that does not make them good, that’s why Microsoft droped them.

  • robertwade

    This is EXACTLY why I’ve been beating up all those who insist on holding on to the old desktop. Make the live tiles more interactive. The way I see it, you’d have “levels” of function for any app. First, static tile. Does nothing but give you access to the program. Next level, live feed. Just as we see now, but I think those can even be enhanced. Next would be interactive tiles, just as Microsoft Research is demonstrating. The idea here is that a huge percentage, if not most, of the programs people insist on keeping open on their desktop are only because they may want to more conveniently plug in information based on what’s being fed to them. They’re just watching them until some attention is needed. Having the various sizes of tiles allows for some great scaling but keeping some degree of order to it. Finally, if you really need serious interaction you actually open the app. All this makes perfect sense to me, and I have never understood while people are SO stuck in “the way we’ve always done it”. This is a new concept in multitasking, one that makes sense as we move forward.

    • grenz242

      These interactive tiles are really cool, and could be a great tool, but even this doesn’t replace the desktop. And THIS (something that is not yet available and, as it’s currently just a research project, possibly never will) is the reason you’re beating up on people who are using an existing solution that actually works for them?

      I have a touch enabled convertible laptop, and I use touch quite a lot where it makes sense. I like the start screen and the live tiles, but I don’t really spend much time in the Metro environment, maybe just some casual games now and then, I like the Bing Sports app, but otherwise I prefer the desktop. I use touch on the desktop too. I know it’s not optimized for finger touch, and some things don’t work as well as it could, but I still prefer it to functionality stripped Metro versions.

      All the people that say that the Metro environment is the only future are people who are only using the basic features of a program. Metro versions of any program are feature wise invariably a scaled down version of the desktop program. Yes, they are much better suited for touch interaction, but that is really their only advantage. Metro apps are dumbed down versions of desktop programs that usually only provide at the most the 50% most used features of the desktop programs, and this is fine for a lot of people that don’t need any of the other features.

      A touch optimized interface (at least if it is finger friendly) will by its very nature have fewer options, bigger UI elements and therefore also fewer UI elements, and this limits what can be displayed and the interaction options. That’s not good enough for actually getting things done. For productivity, for work, at least the current touch optimized systems come up short. It will be the same with Metro versions of Office. They will have the most used features of the desktop versions, but a lot of options will simply not be available. And that’s also the reason why I never use Metro IE, there are just too few options available to me. Even when just browsing the web, I never know when I may want to do something that’s not supported in Metro IE. In desktop IE I can view the source of the page, I can get properties for an image, I can use the IE developer tools. Whenever i right click on any element in desktop IE I have a multitude of options that I can never access in Metro IE.

      The same goes for web pages. If you view pages optimized for mobile you get less. You get less of everything. Fewer options, less information on the screen, less available content, you’re basically missing out. It may be pretty, but there is still a lot of stuff you don’t have access to. That’s the reason why even on my phone I set my preferences to always show the desktop version of web pages. I can’t stand the looks of the watered down mobile web sites, and I can’t stand the lack of content. More and more web sites don’t respect browser preferences about this. I guess they think that on a mobile device, the mobile page gives a better user experience, so they force their decision on me, often without any possibility to switch to the desktop version.

      Another thing is that the Metro side of Windows is locked down, it is just not possible to do a lot of things that can be done in the desktop environment. This is probably also good for a lot of people, but interaction between programs, having different programs plug in to each other, is very limited. On the desktop the possibilities are endless.

      The interactive tiles is a very cool idea, and I hope it comes to Windows soon, it could definitely help improving the productivity aspect of Metro, but it is nowhere near enough to replace the desktop.

  • Willem Evenhuis

    I’m having a problem with the loading of the video. Does anyone know where I can find another link?