Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

Summary: "Tiles" seem to be the new design metaphor -- or at least the buzzword du jour -- all across Microsoft as of late.

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"Tiles" seem to be the new design metaphor -- or at least the buzzword du jour -- all across Microsoft as of late.

Windows Phone 7 has made extensive use of the tiles/Live tiles concept. The automatically updating tiles on WP7 devices are key to Microsoft's design and its advertising strategy for the devices.

But it seems "tiles" also are coming to Bing, as first noted by Liveside.Net. Microsoft is in the midst of adding authority/reputation tiles to Bing to help users wade through search results to find the most accurate and trusted results. There will be close to 50 Bing tiles to start,with more to be added in the future. The Bing tiles are not sponsored/paid links and won't affect "organic" search results, Microsoft execs told LiveSide.

There also was a report this week that the Windows 8 user interface for slate/tablet devices (referred to by some by its codename "MoSH," for Modern Shell) may rely on the tile metaphor. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hinted this might be the case last year, as some may recall, when he hinted that Windows slates could make use of the "Big Buttons" concepts from Windows Media Center. Media Center is considered the first Microsoft offering to have used the typography-centric "Metro" interface that later made it onto the Zune HD and Windows Phone 7.

Topics: Browser, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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28 comments
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  • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

    The website redesign has a tile/metro aura about it also. have you checked it out?
    bourgeoisie
    • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

      @oli.burgess
      You mean their new Microsoft.com preview site. Yes, that looks fantastic and not busy.
      Ram U
  • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

    Makes sense, its a lot easier to get the information this way.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Surely it's more that

      7, Live and .NET have outlived their usefulness;-)
      Richard Flude
      • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

        @Richard Flude DonnieBoy is that you?
        athynz
      • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

        @Richard Flude

        Sadly Richard, that's just projection on your part.
        tonymcs@...
  • Another poor UI design..

    Tiles solve what problem exactly? They are not efficient in the display of information. They don't look good.

    So why?
    itguy08
    • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

      @itguy08 "Tiles = Glorified Screen Widgets" - Like all things MS, it's just re-branded so MS can own it.

      @WinPhone7Users Yes! You're using screen widgets people!!! It isn't special, it isn't unique. Android and iPhone can have active updating content too.
      Socratesfoot
      • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

        @Socratesfoot,<br>"Android and iPhone can have active updating content too. "<br>The only "active" content I have seen on my iPhone is the quantity of unread email and text messages. Is that your meaning of active updating content?
        dvm
    • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

      @itguy08 Tiles enforce white space. They bring visual order which allows people to process what they're seeing more quickly.
      Android widgets vary widely in size, shape, and all compete visually for your attention. It's like looking into a sea of lightbulbs and picking out the right one.

      "They don't look good" is subjective-- and you're wrong ;)
      ericesque
  • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

    They really hit onto a good thing with tiles. Don't over do it though because then they won't be special. The animated Xbox avatar that pops up and disappears on my Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live tile cracks people up. Live tiles are well worth the juice.
    Mythos7
    • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

      @Mythos7 No, they are laughing at you for having a piece of crap for a phone.
      Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

        @Ron Burgundy

        And they must just be lying to save my feelings when they all say they'll be buying one as soon as their iToy and Android contract's run out. In fact, some of them have already done it ;-)

        Keep staring at your crowded desktop UI with static icons Ron, you obviously don't appreciate change.
        tonymcs@...
  • It makes sense for tablet U.I

    The first thing which went through my mind when i saw WP7 Metro U.I is that it could be great for Tablet.
    Thus i will not be surprised if Windows 8 Tablet U.I use tiles. Though i expect that those tiles will be significantly more eye candy than those of WP7.
    timiteh
  • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

    A lot of folks here like to make fun of the tiles, but guess what, tiles are simple and relay a lot of information back to you.

    I'll take a dynamic start screen of a screen of static icons anyday.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
  • hahahahahaha

    HUGE GIANT ICONS FOR YOU WP7 USERS... they just look weird who wants a UI with giant buttons... it's like a phone for children.
    Hasam1991
    • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

      @Hasam1991 I do!
      ericesque
    • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

      @Hasam1991 Yep, and Ballmer the Dinosaur is marketing to all the little children...

      I love you,
      You love me,
      We're a tiled family
      With a retard color scheme and a bricked update pushed to you
      We want you to own a Windows phone too
      Ron Burgundy
      • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

        @Ron Burgundy

        Ron you're lame,
        But I guess you're not to blame,
        Jobs pays you well
        To try and sell
        His fruity phones
        To rich boy clones.
        jaykayess
    • RE: Tiles gone wild at Microsoft

      @Hasam1991

      I do too.

      The only children involved are the ones who designed Apple and Android's UI. I say "designed" but they just copied their own crowded desktop.
      tonymcs@...