There is a lot to like about Windows 8, but one of the complaints have been that the dual-interface creates some unique problems. For keyboard/mouse users it means you have to navigate a touch interface using non-touch peripherals.
For touch users? It means that when they use the desktop, they are stuck with an interface that is clearly NOT great for touch. That’s part of the issue of a dual-OS, and some of it can never be overcome.
While Microsoft doesn’t seem to have many new changes for making keyboard/mouse life any easier in Windows 8 Modern, they do look to be making the desktop a bit easier for touch users.
The first example of that is Internet Explorer 11 in Windows Blue. By default, you wouldn’t know that IE 11 has a unique touch-only feature, but through a simple registry hack, you can get touch swiping just like currently found in the Modern-UI version of IE for Windows 8.
To enable this feature, open up the Registry Editor and navigate to: toHKCUSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerDesktopSwipe and set the Enabled value to 1.
For those that don’t know, the swipe feature is pretty simple: to go back and forward through browsed webpages, you simply swipe left to right in Internet Explorer 11. Again, this WILL NOT work with non-touch devices, so you can’t just use your mouse to grab and pull.
For the moment, this is the first example we have of improved desktop experience for touch-users, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is more of this hidden in Windows Blue.
It makes quite a bit of sense to improve this experience, especially for those with Windows 8 tablets that might find themselves going into the ‘desktop mode’ to take advantage of some of the x86 apps out there. Most users will have a keyboard/mouse attached for this situations, but having a few touch shortcuts and features added into Blue certainly won’t hurt.
What do you think of desktop swipe? Share your thoughts below.