windows 8 landscape mode

Optimizing Windows 8 For Portrait Mode

We have seen a lot of Windows 8 Demo’s over the past few weeks after the build conference,but almost all of the videos we saw were in the Landscape mode,mostly because of the demo devices which were provided were widescreen one’s and the Landscape orientation is the ideal one for such screens.

But as we all know Tablet experience doesn’t just end with the landscape mode,there are certain conditions or apps or for that matter games where we have to use the portrait orientation as well.Steven Sinofsky on the building windows 8 blog explained how did they manage to optimize the Landscape as well as portrait Orientation for a complete experience on Windows 8.

One of the reasons behind choosing the Landscape Mode for the demonstrations was,Windows 8 is going to be running on the largest screens in the world to the smallest screens fitting in your hands,that is it will be running on the desktops and the laptops and not just the tablets,so landscape mode is the default mode on those kinds of machines.

Then again the preferences of choosing between the modes again goes with the users personal experience and usability preferences.While landscape mode is preferred mostly for viewing the videos with the widescreen experience,the preferences changes when one is browsing through portrait pictures or reading an ebook or for that matter browsing through website(that again depends on what user wants).

So to focus on both the orientation Microsoft created some goals :

  • 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.

So to make the transition in the modes efficiently and smooth without any glitches microsoft worked it out by streamlining the path of this transition, from the accelerometer hardware up through the graphics stack to the app.One of the most important parts during which the transition takes place is the animation which projects the transition from landscape to portrait or vice versa,so to make it look smooth and responsive Desktop Window Manager was used to make these kinds of animations.

Checkout the Landscape to Portrait Transition in action:

Image and Video Credits Microsoft