Redmond has two absolutely great things going for it, the Windows operating system and the Xbox gaming console. Both platforms were brought closer together via the Metro apps in Windows 8 like Xbox Music and Xbox Video.

And it goes without saying that the company is betting big on Windows 8.1.

One of the reasons for this optimism is the fact that it has refreshed, and in some case rebuilt, a number of tools and Metro apps in Windows 8.1 in order to entice more and more users to make the jump to its modern platform.

The friendly and familiar Brandon LeBlanc talked about this in a blog post rolled out earlier today, shedding some more light on the motif behind these changes.

Simply put, the company wanted to improve Xbox Music in such a way that users find it easy to listen to their favorite songs and music, whether it is stored locally or in the cloud. As the executive detailed:

“We set out to be a Windows showcase app, which means we designed and built the Music app to look great and be usable when in 50/50 or snapped mode. The app hides columns when a customer puts it into 50/50, and collapses the left nav bar to buttons as a customer scales down the window.”

Now, the much improved Snap View is one factor that was revealed early on. The feature was first introduced in Windows 8, but has been radically enhanced in Windows 8.1 allowing for more flexibility:

“Our improved snapped view is clearer and easier to use when a customer scales it down to minimum size. These investments allowed us to offer an amazing experience in portrait mode, which will undoubtedly be appreciated by our customers using the new, smaller form factor Windows 8.1 tablets.”

I guess it can safely be stated that the fresh new designs and improved feature sets of many of these apps in Windows 8.1 make the most of the Modern UI. If anything, this is Metro done right.

Windows 8 was just the foundation — things are only starting to heat up with Windows 8.1.

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  1. That should work well for me, I’ll have windows 8 One and Xbox One very soon.

  2. Michael Paterson / October 16, 2013 at 5:27 pm /Reply

    This is how all of the Microsoft apps should be; shining examples of how apps should be designed.

  3. I’ve got the XBOX Music on Windows 8.1…quick observations:

    Still 1000 song limit to playlists…why? (work around to put playlists into NOW PLAYING and then play the combined lists)
    During playback, no option to go full screen to see the song title and artist pictures in a mini-slide show. Why was this taken out?

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