Windows 8: Bypassing the Start screen

After using the Windows Developer Preview (that is, Windows 8 pre-beta) build for a little while, I’m not at all sold on the Start screen as a replacement for the Start menu for keyboard-and-mouse users. I’m not giving up all hope yet, though – I wasn’t overly fond of the Backstage view when I first… Continue reading Windows 8: Bypassing the Start screen

Windows Theme Fonts

View source on GitHub. Update: See this post for a sample implementation in WPF. Have you ever wondered how to access the various font colours and styles found throughout Windows, such as that of the ‘Main Instruction’ text in the Task Dialog shown above? If you are using WPF, the SystemFonts class might sound promising… Continue reading Windows Theme Fonts

Office 15: per application border colours?’s latest Office 15 screenshots reveal application-specific border colours and drop-shadows. Word gets a dark blue border and shadow, Excel gets a green border and shadow, etc.: Microsoft in fact applied for a patent for per-window glass colourisation in late 2005 (‘Glass appearance window frame colorization’; discovered by Long Zheng in 2007). While there isn’t… Continue reading Office 15: per application border colours?

Early Windows 8 UI Changes

Some early screenshots of Windows 8 have leaked recently, providing some clues as to what changes we might see in the user interface. User Account Pictures in the Taskbar Two screenshots show a 32×32 px (actually 28×32 px in the second screenshot) user account picture in the taskbar, located between the clock and ‘show desktop’… Continue reading Early Windows 8 UI Changes