HTML and CSS Reference
If you take a second, deeper look at the Windows 8 UI initiative, you can't help but recognize a
bunch of universal design principles that describe concisely and precisely the vision behind software
applications of the next years. You can conclude that there's substance behind the new look and feel.
The Windows 8 UI at a glance
Here's a quick list of aspects that strongly characterize the user interface of a Windows Store
application. First and foremost, a Windows Store application is touch-enabled, but it is not limited to
touch as the sole source of input. Support for touch is an aspect that enables the application to work
smoothly on a tablet but also on a regular laptop or on a desktop computer equipped with a touch
Second, a Windows Store application displays in a single, plain borderless window devoid of any
adornment such as resizable borders, caption bar, and icons. This is definitely a breaking change
with any previous version of Windows. At the same time, a Windows Store application adapts to the
effective size and shape of the screen and can offer a fluid rendering experience. The content adapts
intelligently to whatever layout the physical screen may have.
Finally, a Windows Store application integrates smoothly with the surrounding environment and
will leverage new facilities, such as the App bar, Live tiles (a smart replacement for old-fashioned
desktop icons), and the Charms bar (quick buttons to interact with other apps through well-known
contracts). A Live tile, in particular, is a square block displayed in the Start screen of Windows 8 that
references an installed application. What makes a tile “live” is the ability to display a little animation
and content based on the data the application holds or the current state. Figure 5-4 displays the
Charms bar; Figure 5-5 shows live tiles; and Figure 5-6 illustrates the App bar.
FIGURE 5-4 The Windows 8 Charms bar.