A lot has been said and done about Windows 8’s Modern UI. One key element of this interface is Live Tiles. While many people find it useful, there are those who aren’t really excited about it. But as it looks like, Microsoft is working on enhancing the Live Tiles. According to some leaked videos and now-broken web-page link, it appears that we may know what Microsoft is planning to do next with Live Tiles.


As Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley spotted on the Microsoft Research page, we have got a a glimpse of the exciting things Microsoft is doing with Live Tiles. Introduced with Windows 8, and also available on Windows Phone 8 and higher, Live Tiles come in handy at providing information. They make available new information and notification which you can check without having to leave the Start Screen.

The new features in Live Tiles

Very soon, we might be able to do parallel tasking between Modern UI applications. So for instance, you can use data from one app and drag and drop it on to another, and as seen in the video, it works perfectly. The second feature, which is again very enticing, is the ability to use Tiles as a notification dashboard for applications.


This enables you to get more “dynamic” information on the Tiles. Furthermore, you will be able to access information through these tiles and interact with apps without actually opening them. You can check your RSS feeds, work on your calculator, play music without ever opening a program.

Thirdly, we have something which, if it really comes into existence someday, will prove to be really useful. From what we see in the video, it appears like you can mirror your system’s activities on Windows Phone and resume your work from where you left it on the system. From the other video we also learn that Microsoft is trying to find a new way to integrate the desktop mode and the Modern UI. It suggests that Microsoft wants Modern UI to be the main interface for your computer.


“This project features an Interactive-Tile UI system that enables users to access and manipulate Live Tiles in an interactive way with touch gestures. Interactive Tile’s UI is responsive and flexible to an app’s content and function. Users can provide quick input to the Interactive Tile on the Start screen. With a perception of Start as an entrance page, Interactive Tiles were introduced to empower the start screen with an intermediate access level to applications.”, as spotted on the Microsoft Research page.

It should be noted that we have no real evidence that these videos were in fact a part of Microsoft Research. Also, in one of the videos at a specific instance, the message reads “Happy new year” so the video could be old. Finally, if the video is in fact something what Microsoft Research is working on, there is no guarantee that these features will be added to the next update. Microsoft could make some changes to it, or just make the project disappear. We know that Windows 9 (Microsoft may go with different name) will arrive next year. Can we see this update on the new operating system?

Do you like the interactive Live Tiles concept? Would you rather have this than what you have on your system right now?

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Manish is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and Engineering but spends more time in writing about technology. He has written for a number of Indian and international publications including BetaNews, BGR India, WinBeta, MakeTechEasier, MediaNama, and Digit magazine among others. When not writing, you would find him ranting about the state of digital journalism on Twitter.