Microsoft Introduces Multi-Monitor Improvements in Windows 8 Release Preview

Multi Monitor Windows 8 Zoom

Microsoft outlines more improvements in upcoming Release Preview.

The promised behind-the-scenes videos of the development of Double Fine’s Kickstarter project continue

Microsoft has outlined more improvements coming in the Windows 8 Release Preview, which will release during the first week of June. Microsoft has previously talked about multi- monitor support, revealing panoramic wallpapers can stretch across multiple monitors.

Microsoft revealed the improvements on the Windows Blog, though Google Cache is the only way to access the information. The company said over 85 percent and 95 percent of desktop and laptop users respectively use one monitor. Conversely, over 14 percent and 4 percent of desktop and laptop users use two monitors.

Microsoft has again talked about wallpaper support, saying multi-monitor users will be able to select multiple wallpapers to display on different monitors. Windows 8 can also effectively shuffle wallpapers that are most suitable for the resolution. As mentioned, wallpapers will be able to span multiple monitors.

Metro-Windows divide

Also confirmed is the cross-monitor taskbar, allowing users to show the taskbar on multiple screens and they can choose how to set up pinned icons. That’s going to be useful is monitors are used for different applications, which is great for people like me who are doing a dozen tasks at once. Microsoft is including the features because they have been heavily requested, previously limited to third-party software.

The new Metro interface will also support multiple monitors, as Microsoft has allowed gestures to be activated from the corner of displays. Previously, the Start screen and gestures were confined to a single monitor.

It would be great if MIcrosoft allowed users to use desktop and Metro Windows 8 on separate monitors, instead of switching between the two separate screens. I can see users preferring one side of the OS if they’re stuck on a single display. In an office environment, multiple monitors and the ability to isolate each version would hugely increase productivity.

Microsoft has also said there will be larger areas to activate Metro elements which won’t interfere with multiple monitors. That removes the problem of having to move to the next monitor. Microsoft says it may also offer multiple monitor APIs, and has lots of ideas for using Metro across multiple monitors. The key is ensuring users don’t neglect half the OS immediately.

Published: Thursday, May 17th, 2012 Last Modified: May 17, 2012

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