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Microsoft: Windows 8 designed to be comfortable in any screen orientation

In another Building Windows 8 blog post, Microsoft details how the company has optimized both the landscape and portrait view of the next generation operating system, Windows 8.

Microsoft used four principles when designing the end-to-end experience on different form factors in Windows 8. First, Windows 8 must work on small screens, wide screens, laptops, and desktops. Second, Windows 8 must take advantage of widescreen formats for multi-tasking and for full-screen videos. Third, the Windows 8 device can be held and interacted with in the way that is most comfortable. And finally, developers should be able to create one app that works on all orientations and views, with minimal effort.

Microsoft also had four main goals when it came to landscape and portrait views in Windows 8:

  • You can easily rotate your tablet to best suit your task or ergonomic posture.
  • Rotation in Windows is fast and fluid.
  • Windows rotates predictably across the system and apps – keeping the user in control.
  • Developers can easily build high quality and intentional landscape and portrait layouts, depending on the experiences they want to enable.

Microsoft also stated that Windows 8 is designed to be comfortable in any screen orientation. “We’ve designed Windows 8 to be ergonomically comfortable in all orientations. We found that a comfortable posture for using a tablet in landscape is to hold in both hands and touch the screen with your thumbs. For this reason, we’ve designed the majority of the experience to be easily accessible under your thumbs. We also optimized the system to scroll horizontally, which feels fast and fluid in landscape as well as in portrait mode,” Microsoft stated in the official blog post.

Windows 8 will also work well in portrait mode so users can read news in a web browser, look at portrait photos, and scroll though long lists of email messages.

Microsoft has also introduced a hardware orientation lock to “override gravity” and keep the orientation the way you want it.

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