Think Windows 8 is optimized solely for touchscreen displays? Think again. In its Building Windows 8 Blog, Microsoft has detailed numerous enhancements aimed to improve the user experience for multi-monitor desktop and notebook users. The most important improvement is smart taskbar functionality, a feature that has been sorely lacking in previous Windows releases. With Win8, users will be able to set each monitor's taskbar to show only the apps running on that display. There will also be options to have all apps visible on all taskbars or just the one associated with the primary monitor.
It's about time. The post notes that most Microsoft developers and testers have multi-monitor setups at their desks, which makes me wonder why it took so long for this feature to make its way into the OS. Third-party software has provided similar functionality for years.
Along with the much-needed taskbar upgrade, Windows 8 will offer better background options for multi-display configs. The Start menu and charms bar will be accessible from multiple monitors, and Microsoft has tweaked mouse tracking around the corners of the display that share edges with adjacent screens. The video embedded below has a good demonstration of how shared corners "catch" the mouse cursor as it passes by.
I've never really had a problem with overshooting the corners of multi-monitor setups, but Microsoft does seem intent on having users targeting those regions more often in Windows 8. At least the sticky corners are only six pixels wide and tall.
|Are retail Radeon R9 290X cards slower than press samples?||77|
|USB group designing slim, orientation-independent connector||17|
|Cherry intros MX RGB key switch; first keyboard due from Corsair||30|
|MSI's latest Z87 motherboard, GeForce GTX 760 graphics card have Mini-ITX dimensions||27|
|Tuesday Night Shortbread||18|
|HP unveils two Tegra 4-powered tablets||45|
|Unofficial AMD roadmap details desktop plans through 2015||121|
|It's official: Toshiba will snatch up OCZ's SSD business||36|
|Dell intros 4K monitors; sub-$1,000 model coming soon||119|