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Windows Share Feature Within Windows 8 Explained

Windows Share is the new inter-app data-sharing feature within Windows 8. Using this feature, individual applications can share data between themselves if the developer has built the feature in to the app.

There are several things that can be shared between the apps, which the developer can utilize creatively to make clever use of another app’s shared data.

Windows Share Comparable To An Universal Live Clipboard

Windows Share enabled independent applications to share data between each other on the up coming Windows 8. Apps can share text, bitmap, HTML, URL’s and even individual files. This is a very clever ploy, which, when taken advantages of, might trigger off a whole new side to the app experience for users. A kind of experience where apps can talk to each other make life easier for people. For example, if the user has a painting app that can share the bit map of the painting, another app can incorporate it in to a word document or manipulate in a way that the original painting app is not built for.

As Billie Sue Chafins (Senior Program Manager Lead) had put it during BUILD 2011, it is more like an universal live clipboard that is accessible to all applications running under Windows 8. The only difference is that the integration is much tighter and deeper and it is more feature-rich than the traditional clipboard.

Three Steps To How Windows Share Works: Source, Target, Broker

There are three participants in a Windows Share data sharing process — Source, Target and Broker. Source is of course the app that has the data and target is the app that consumes the data. Broker is the mediator that makes the transfer happen.

Almost all apps have something to share and hence are encouraged to be a Source by Microsoft. And any app interest in obtaining and processing that information can become a target. The Broker is an universal entity. Once an app is granted permission by the user to share data, it registers itself with the Data Transfer Manager. From there it prepares the data package and sends it to the Broker. The Broker then looks through the list of registered Targets for that type of data and presents the user with a lit of apps as the Target. Once an app is selected, it is activated and it receives the data package and things happen as they should from there on.

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Published: Saturday, September 24th, 2011 Last Modified: September 24, 2011

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