Windows 8.1 Development Team IAmA On Reddit Summary Part-1

Windows 8.1 Update Download

I’ve collected most of the replies from Windows development team on Reddit during their IAmA. Read them below. There is a part -2 as well, you can read it here.

Default zoom has been changed from 100% in windows 8, to 125% in windows 8.1.

IE selects a default zoom based on the DPI and expected viewing distance of the device to optimize for consistent readability across form factors and display densities. The net zoom level depends on your device. You can change the IE zoom level on the desktop under the “gear” menu.

Regarding poor quality apps creeping into the store.

WRT to your Store questions: 1. We’re constantly improving the Store certification process in order to make it a first-class experience. With 8.1 there’s tons of work on the back-end that will surface over time. I’ll answer the second part with your 3rd Store question. 2. A lot of work has gone into better highlighting of apps in 8.1 The whole UX was redesigned for the Store and we’re leveraging Bing to make app recommendations for relevant to the individual user.  3. This relates to the second part of your first question and the trademark owner needs to reach out to us in order for these “trademark violations” (as you put it) to be taken down.

There’s a rumor going around that says Direct X 11 may be coming to Windows 7:

The DX11.1 APIs get added to Win7 when you install IE10. The APIs are all there so developers can write one codebase, but support for Feature level 11.1 does require the newer drivers that come with Win8 or 8.1

Do you guys just work on windows 8.1 and windows RT or do you also work on windows phone 8.1?

It differs depending on which member of the team you’re talking to. We all use all of the products and chat with each other all of the time. I work on 8.1 and RT but I have frequent design discussions with Phone and Xbox. During Windows 8 development, for example, my team built all of the animations in the system. Part of figuring out our motion design was literally figuring out our motion language (meaning Microsoft’s), so there was a lot of back and forth discussions.

Regarding removing Facebook and Flickr integration on Photos App -

In Windows 8, we needed to provide a way for folks to view their photos on other services knowing there would be few (if any) apps in the store at launch that would do so.  Now there are many apps in the store that offer ways to view photos on other services and just released today is the Facebook app from Facebook.  The Facebook app offers great ways to view and engage socially with photos on Facebook.  We welcome Flickr to do the same.  In addition, the People app still offers the ability to socially engage with your friends and even your own photos.

No ‘Me’ Tile:

Great question. I have my wife and family contacts pinned to my Start screen but I never thought to pin myself. I like the idea. Luckily that team is just down the hall and I’m literally going to walk down there after lunch and give them your suggestion.

Internally, how did the 8.1 team feel about the return of the Start button? What was the thinking behind forcing hands toward the Start Screen on the desktop where it simply doesn’t work as well as on tablets?

Hi, I’m Jason, a GPM on the User Experience team. Here’s my proof http://imgur.com/mrppZd5. As part of the UX team, you can imagine we had a lot of conversations about the Start button and we examined multiple designs, ran dozens of user studies, and all of us held pretty passionate opinions that covered a range of design beliefs. In the end, the reality is that there are times when just listening to your customers provides a great path forward. For 8.1, we worked to enrich the Start screen while brining back the flexibility for Windows users to easily transition between the Start screen and the desktop.

Will Windows be pushing out updates on a yearly basis? Windows 8 in October, 8.1 in October, so can we expect 8.2 or the next iteration in October 2014?

Hi there, our goal is to continue to deliver updates on a regular basis to respond to customer feedback and improve and enrich the Windows experience.

Can we expect a “unified” app-store Windows 8.1 / Windows Phone 8.1, or is that more in the cards for “Windows [/Phone] 9?”

We working to make it as easy as possible for developers to build apps for both Windows phone and Windows – the platforms share core code, APIs and tools. We’ll keep making this better with a goal of more and more unification. No dates yet.

Regarding Steam OS:

We just shipped some great game value in window for game developers like tiled resources, check out our recent post for more –

http://blogs.windows.com/windows/b/appbuilder/archive/2013/10/14/raising-the-bar-with-direct3d.aspx

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Liberal Republic

    Me tile is an awesome suggestion

    • Guest

      And already present in WP, which makes its lack of inclusion here hard to understand.

      • Liberal Republic

        They should absorb the best features from WP into Windows and retire WP. Predictive texting is awesome on WP. I wish they absorb this feature instead of reinventing the wheel.

        • Guest

          I assume W will pick up the best features of WP (and – less so – vice versa) with Myerson now in charge. Frankly, it’s inexcusable that minor ones like this Me tile didn’t make it there already, and that W team members are rushing off thinking this user’s suggestion is some great new idea. On the WP retirement, seems to be some uncertainty on whether RT is getting phased out or RT. One for sure though.

          • Guest

            That last one should read WP not RT.

  • Guest

    Like 8.1 overall. Pros: performance, IE11, customization, Bing Search enhancements. etc. Cons: XB music better UI but removed other features and still not where Zune used to be. Also, low res blurry screenshots in several apps (XB music, Bing Food and Drink, etc.). Overall, I’m not sure this should have taken a year though.