Windows 8 to have enhanced multiple monitor support

Windows 8 to have enhanced multiple monitor support


In another very long post on the Building Windows 8 Blog  (which now seems to have disappeared) Microsoft talk about the enhanced multi-monitor. I have been using multi-monitors for years and would not like to go back to a single screen. In Windows 8 Microsoft are improving the edges detection with dual monitors,  Windows 8 is heavily reliant on edge gestures and I have found in the Consumer Preview edition it can by tricky working with edge gestures and dual monitors so its good to see the improvements coming.

Details from Microsoft:


In the Release Preview, we’re introducing an improved model for shared edges that makes it easier to target UI along a shared edge.

Since corners are even more important for Windows 8, we’ve created real corners along the shared edges to mimic the Fitts’ Law advantages of a single monitor. The red corners in the diagram below demonstrate how these corners can help guide your mouse.

Graphic demonstrating real corners along shared edges

We’ve designed the corners to provide help when you need it and to get out of the way when you don’t. The protruding corner target is 6 pixels in height, which means that it is only noticeable when you’re trying to target the corner of the screen. Also, we’ve designed the corner to only work for the monitor your cursor is on. For example, leaving monitor 2 for monitor 1 in the diagram below, the bottom corner in monitor 1 will not interfere as you move your mouse across the shared edge.

Graphic demonstrating how real corners only work for the monitor you are on

Shared corner does not block cross monitor navigation

The shared corner isn’t just an improvement for the new Windows 8 UI, but it also makes it easier to target controls on the desktop like Close and Show desktop. As a result, targeting shared corners is fast and fluid. First-hand experience is a must with this design, as you will notice this improvement right away when using the new Release Preview.

More to come

We have lots of ideas for how we could do even more with Metro style apps on multiple monitors. Our goal for Windows 8 is to deliver a great Metro style app experience alongside desktop apps, improving multitasking efficiency and making it easy to access the controls you need along the edges of every screen. We wanted to make sure your desktop experience was even more efficient, with new functionality such as the spanning taskbar, and we wanted you to also have access to Metro style apps while you’re also using the desktop. As we see new apps developed, and as we see how developers might want to take advantage of multi-monitor configurations in new ways with immersive and full screen apps, we will of course enhance this experience (and APIs) even further.


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