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Microsoft offer ‘new’ Windows 8 Multiple Monitor options.

I installed Windows 8 around a month ago on a spare machine and I have been battling with some aspects of the interface. I am still not sold that this is the ‘next greatest' thing, after using Windows 7. Perhaps it will take some time to adapt to the changes, or else Microsoft have just dropped the ball.

They announced some new plans for multi monitor configurations which they are adding into the upcoming build.

Mark Yalovsky, lead program designers on the Windows User Experience team updated his blog with the following “We recognize that a key value of using multiple monitors lies in the desire to increase multitasking, This is especially true of those of you who spend time arranging your desktop windows to maximize the available real estate across multiple displays.”

They have a new four point plan for Windows 8.

  1. They want to make the desktop space more personalised.
  2. Improve the efficiency of accessing applications across monitors.
  3. Improve Start Menu access.
  4. Allow side by side Metro style and desktop applications.

Yalosky wants users to be able to add their own touch to each screen they own. So far, the system only allows for a single image across all your monitors. Those people who have used UltraMon for Windows 7 will already have a ton of multiple screen options in their hands, including this ‘new' feature in Windows 8.

or just nicking all the best ideas from third party developers over the last 5 years.

The new system in Windows 8 will allow users to have an option to select a different desktop background image for each screen, select a slideshow that will cycle through each monitor or even have a single image that can span them all. The slideshow option has an algorithm in place that only selects images that scale to the monitor being used.

Microsoft say they will add the taskbar to each monitor. Again this is a feature that the UltraMon software has been bringing to Windows for many years. They add that the default setting will have the full taskbar showing on all monitors, but the user can change this to customise the interface, so the icons open on the active screen. Again UltraMon can do all this and more.

Yalovsky added “On the Consumer Preview in a multi-monitor setup, it is difficult to find the Start screen and other UI that is invoked from the corners with a mouse, since those activation areas are only available on a single monitor. In the upcoming Release Preview, we are making all the corners and edges alive on all monitors.”

The update is said to include a new ‘mouse targeting' option to make it easier to launch applications.

Kitguru says: New options? They might be for Microsoft, but like many of the cool new features, third party developers have released the same features, years ago.

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