In the latest Building Windows 8 blog post entitled “Web browsing in Windows 8 Customer Preview with IE10” Rob Maceri the group program manager for IE in Windows 8 explains how Microsoft has redesigned browser behavior in the upcoming release of the MS browser. It’s pretty interesting stuff, and it makes major strides toward establishing a visual and touch oriented interface for browsing.
Since I purchased my iPhone last October (2011) I’ve really come to appreciate the ability to touch address, phone number, and other information on a Web page and have it “do the right thing” with such data — namely, dial the phone, show a map with directions, and so forth and so on. A lot of what Maceri describes in this blog post explains the underpinnings for such operations and activities, so that data on a Web page becomes actionable without requiring cutting and pasting into other applications (he describes it as “…a more immersive and less manual browsing experience.”
Use of navigation tiles in IE10 is also prety cool, where frequently accessed and pinned Websites remain readily available through a single touch or click, without accessing favorites or other navigation tools more explicitly. Here’s a screen cap to illustrate those tiles:
Active tabs (already open sites) appear as page thumbnails with text subtitles beneath them to help identify what’s what. Toolbars and other controls appear only when they’re needed rather than all the time. The overall result is a more graphical and interactive Web experience. So far, it’s one of the brightest spots about Windows 8 and the only “app” that really makes effective use of tiles, as far as I can tell. Will it be enough to drive uptake of this new OS? I’m not convinced of that yet, but I do like what IE 10 brings to the Windows 8 party.