Last week, I had the opportunity to immerse myself in the world of Windows 8.
Microsoft’s newest OS, due to launch at the end of October, is quite radically different to what I’d seen before.
First off, how it works – it’s “touch first”, designed for use on a new range of tablets or “slates”, which launch alongside Windows 8.
This move positions Microsoft in a similar space to Apple – not merely in a software plus hardware kind of way, but in the experiences that become possible when you combine the two.
Then, there’s how it looks, though form is not something you should split from function.
Gone are the metaphors of the graphical user interface and in their place is a typography-focused design for the touch user interface where it’s more about content, not chrome and with this typographic emphasis comes the structure of “the grid” which brings a clean visual order.
Ultimately, they’ve brought original ideas and culture into the new OS, something Steve Jobs famously said they lacked. Design? They’ve always had design, now they’ve got taste too.
Getting started with Windows 8 app design
You should download the Windows 8 OmniGraffle stencil I’ve put together so you can start designing great Windows 8 apps, tastefully on your Mac.