So we showed a start menu back in BUILD, as it was under development and the software you all will get a chance to try out over there has this early build. And I want you to think about the audience that we have and the goal that we have in mind for trying to get this design right.
Literally we have hundreds of millions of Windows 7 users, mostly on PCs with a mouse and a keyboard. But it scales up to Windows 8 users on devices that are touch-based. And we’re looking to find the balance so that all of those Windows 7 users get a familiar experience on the devices they already have, but as we scale up to more capable devices, like touch devices, that the experience scales with it.
So in combination on the start menu, you’ll see things like my me tile, and you’ll see a simple power button where people can do the things that they commonly expect to do, like hibernate or sleep, or turn off their PC. At the top are the pinned apps. In the middle is the most used list, same concept on Windows 7. And then things like the All Apps button are in a place that people would expect. So I can click that and see all my apps.
And the little details really matter here, as well, things like jump lists, when I go to File Explorer it expands in place to show familiar jump lists that Windows 7 users are used to.
So the analogy that we’ve been using internally, we want all these Windows 7 users to have the sentiment that yesterday they were driving maybe a first-generation Prius. And then when they got Windows 10 they didn’t have to learn to drive something new, but it was as if we got them a Tesla. And so now there are some fancy, exciting new features, like an 18-inch touch screen. And there is more room for passengers and cargo. And the sound system is way better.
But, they don’t have to learn any new way to drive. And when you think about new features, as I said, we’ll talk more about those later, but some of them start to peek right into the core experience.
So of course here, familiar to Windows 8 users, we have Live Tiles, which our customers really like for the ability of getting information from apps, seeing what’s happening with apps, and developers like that connection with their audience. And so in our testing so far this blend has worked really well. It gives the familiarity of Windows 7 with some of the new benefits that exist in Windows 8.
And of course, it’s really easy to use. If I want to grab an app like Facebook here, drag it over, I can pull it into a space, choose where I want to drop it. In this case you can see the start menu is getting a little wider. But, we left this little space right there, so I could drop an item in.
Part of the brand values and things that we want Windows to be about is personalization and making your device really unique — represent your unique personality and needs. So we want people to be able to customize this and make it fit them. I can do things like resize these tiles. I’ll make the calendar tile here a large size and then I can take the start menu and change its size. I can make it short and stout if I would like, or I can pull it up here and go for the tall look, which during the rehearsal everyone reminded me for me going to higher heights is generally something I should try to do. So I’m going to configure my start menu in the tall mode.
And so you get the idea. Some of the new benefits in Windows 8 are blended into an experience that’s familiar to Windows 7 users and we’re trying to hit this balance in just the right way.
Sort of continuing on that vein, one of the things that we know a lot of Windows 7 users do is they type commands into the edit box on the start menu. And so of course that’s supported, but we made it better. If I start typing E-X-P you’ll see my search results change. And up at the top you get the apps that you use frequently, like the File Explorer, or Internet Explorer, or I have an expenses document that’s shown. Settings on my PC are shown.
And a feature that’s new for Windows 7 users, but not for Windows 8 users, is web results show up right here in the start menu, as well, so I can jump into a web search super fast and easy in a consistent way that I’m used to if I’m a Windows 7 user.
All right. So that’s a quick look at the basics, the task bar, the start menu.
One of the things that’s worth talking about as you think about our large installed base of Windows 7 users and our large, but not as large, base of Windows 8 users is a bunch of the valuable things that are in Windows 8 that Windows 7 users can benefit from. And one of those that’s worth spending some time on is the new app model.
So Windows 8 has a new application platform, Universal Windows apps, which developers can today write and put on phones and PCs. It’s a store-driven model. So it has a familiarity to users who are using mobile devices a ton. You go to the store. You find the app. The store provides updating. It provides commerce. It provides lots of benefits to developers and to consumers.