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Microsoft Talks Multi-Monitor Support in Windows 8

By - Source: Building Windows 8 | B 29 comments

Microsoft today revealed that the latest version of Windows, due out later this year, will feature enhanced support for multi-monitor setups.

If you're sitting in front of a computer all day long, it's not at all unlikely that you're working with multiple monitors. Microsoft announced that it's tweaked the multi-monitor support in Windows 8 to better take care of those of us that just can't work with a single display.

"From the very first public release and demonstrations of Windows 8 we have shown improvements over Windows 7 for multi-monitor scenarios and have shown how we support new Metro style apps within a multi-monitor environment," said Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky "We have continued to develop and refine features for multiple monitors and have significantly enhanced the experience as we move to our next milestone, the Release Preview."

With Windows 8, Microsoft is aiming to make the multi-monitor desktop a more personal experience and including the ability to customize desktop backgrounds, adding a different background for each monitor or stretch one image over multiple monitors. You'll also be able to run multi-monitor slide shows.

Windows 8 users will also be able to customize taskbar settings. For example, you can decide if you want to show taskbar buttons on all taskbars, just the taskbar where the window is open, or both the main taskbar and the taskbar where the window is open.

Sinofsky writes that the Release Preview will also contain some changes that Consumer Preview users won't have seen. First, Microsoft is making all corners and edges alive on all monitors and you'll be able to bring up Start, the charms, and app switching from any corner of any monitor.

Microsoft is also introducing and improved model for shared edges that makes it easier to target UI along a shared edge. This means no more slowing down to a snail's pace when approaching a shared edge for fear you'll overshoot and accidentally end up on another display. In addition to improvements to shared edges, there's also 'real corners,' which will provide 6-pixel high barriers that catch the mouse when you're trying to target corners.

 

If you missed out on yesterday's story on Windows 8 ditching Aero, you can click through and read it here.

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    mcpcna01 , May 23, 2012 3:14 PM
    I think that these improvements look promising! I have been waiting for some of these
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    mcpcna01 , May 23, 2012 3:14 PM
    I think that these improvements look promising! I have been waiting for some of these
  • -9 Hide
    mcpcna01 , May 23, 2012 3:15 PM
    I think that these improvements look promising! I have been waiting for some of these
  • 3 Hide
    jacobdrj , May 23, 2012 3:16 PM
    Wish they would just implement this in Windows 7...

    People have been using multiple displays since before Windows 98... Why has it taken until now to put some of these features in? This stuff is obvious to ANYONE who uses multiple displays for more than 20 minutes...
  • 8 Hide
    koga73 , May 23, 2012 3:31 PM
    Finally!!! If you have Windows 7 and want these features now get UltraMon
  • 2 Hide
    Jarmo , May 23, 2012 3:49 PM
    Nice. I was half expecting they'd have removed the capability "because only 10%" use multiple monitors, but then "no worries" made it available for those who need the capability, as an inexpensive DLC.
  • 6 Hide
    BringMeAnother , May 23, 2012 3:53 PM
    Maybe there is a reason to upgrade after all if you are using Windows on a desktop.
  • 4 Hide
    killerclick , May 23, 2012 3:56 PM
    Ok, one tiny step in the right direction. Now they only need to make the Metro apps run inside windows in desktop mode, and make the Metro Start Screen in desktop mode the size of the current Start menu.

    As for Metro itself, not that I see myself using it, but if they enabled splitting the screen in other ratios except 80:20, that would be a big improvement.
  • 3 Hide
    lahawzel , May 23, 2012 4:06 PM
    Ultramon and Actual Multiple Monitors already have these (and much more), so this doesn't quite compel me to upgrade to Windows 8.
  • -2 Hide
    back_by_demand , May 23, 2012 4:09 PM
    Too much focus on the negative aspects of Win8 and not enough on the positive, I want to see more about what it can do.

    Oh, and for those who moan about removing the DVD decoder from WMP? Why are you even using it at all when XBMC exists
  • 2 Hide
    chewy1963 , May 23, 2012 5:03 PM
    Oh great now I can look forward to multiple Metro UI's staring me in the face?
  • 2 Hide
    Lefturn , May 23, 2012 5:05 PM
    So, they're adding the same features that have been available in third party software for years... not very exciting.
  • 0 Hide
    jordanaustin , May 23, 2012 5:07 PM
    I've been running windows 8 cp for some months now. Metro doesn't work on multiple monitors. So basically the core of the OS is a failure. In my opinion it means Microsoft doesn't support multi monitors, wallpapers or not.
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , May 23, 2012 5:09 PM
    I use dual 1280x1024 monitors at work, and this is definitely promising feature. Sure, it may have been available via third parties, but the beauty here is that I won't need to pay for more software with Windows 8.
  • 4 Hide
    rb420 , May 23, 2012 5:16 PM
    jordanaustinI've been running windows 8 cp for some months now. Metro doesn't work on multiple monitors. So basically the core of the OS is a failure. In my opinion it means Microsoft doesn't support multi monitors, wallpapers or not.


    Sinofsky writes that the Release Preview will also contain some changes that Consumer Preview users won't have seen. First, Microsoft is making all corners and edges alive on all monitors and you'll be able to bring up Start, the charms, and app switching from any corner of any monitor

  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , May 23, 2012 5:22 PM
    Quote:
    you can decide if you want to show taskbar buttons on all taskbars, just the taskbar where the window is open, or both the main taskbar and the taskbar where the window is open.
    That's one thing I missed in Win7 which can be configured with Gnome on Ubuntu - two monitors, two taskbars. It's much more intuitive than having to always go back to the taskbar on the primary monitor when working with multiple applications on the secondary.
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , May 23, 2012 5:38 PM
    Windows 9 Microsoft will bring out a desktop version wth no metro and a start menu, that will be their major upgrade. lol
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , May 23, 2012 5:49 PM
    I already use 2 monitors, well 1 23" monitor and a 42" Plasma.
    No need for Windows 8 at all....
    Specially it's dumb interface.
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 23, 2012 6:24 PM
    We have been evaluating Win8 CP for about a month now and are thoroughly unimpressed. The Metro interface looks snazzy, but it is a pain to work through with a mouse and keyboard and switching programs to "apps" is really just pissing off our test users. The Metro cannot be disabled anymore, you are forced to start to it and the start menu is gone preventing easy access to programs and functions (the Windows key just re-launches Metro and drops you out of what you were doing). After spending almost 20 years conditioning people to use a start menu, now we have to get a 3rd party app for that? Even if it is free for home users, there is always a business-use license. For 300+ users in our company, that is going to get expensive in a hurry. Metro is very simply a design and layout for tablets and touchscreen devices, NOT desktop systems. It is clunky and uncoordinated for use with a keyboard and mouse in addition to *HIDING BASIC FUNCTIONS* such as shutdown and reboot (who's brilliant idea was that?).

    In short, we will *NOT* be upgrading to Windows 8 and will be hoping that Mr. Sinofsky and his designers either fix these obvious errors or get replaced with people who understand how businesses and users want to use their machines for Win9. Either that, or we will be looking at a Linux distro.
  • 0 Hide
    lathe26 , May 23, 2012 6:24 PM
    My hope is that Microsoft fixes the "intermittently rearrange desktop icons" bug that occurs when you switch from multi-mon to single-mon and back. Sometimes the icons get placed off-screen(!) as do programs sometimes(!).

    I've never seen other OSes do this.
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