Windows 8 – What is Jupiter?

You guys might remember that in a previous post, I had talked about Paul Thurrott and how he had speculated on a new UI for Windows 8 called Jupiter?

Well Mary Jo Foley’s back and she takes the time to explain from her sources what the thinking is (or the rumors anyway) around Jupiter.


Jupiter is going to be a new user interface (UI) library for Windows, built alongside Windows 8. It will be a thin XAML/UI layer on top of Windows application programming interfaces and frameworks for subsystems like graphics, text and input. The idea is Jupiter will bring support for smoother and more fluid animation, rich typography, and new media capabilities to Windows 8 devices. (Not surprisingly, the more fluid UI capabilities also are on the feature set list for Silverlight 5.)

The high-level goal for Jupiter is to help Microsoft revitalize a world where developers write applications tailored for a specific platform. The days of “killer apps” optimized for Windows driving demand for Windows PCs are waning (if not already long gone). Microsoft’s hope with Jupiter is to provide Microsoft and third-party developers with a new framework, plus the next versions of Microsoft’s various development tools, to build what Microsoft is calling “immersive” applications.

Immersive apps are not meant to be Windows desktop apps. Nor are they necessarily pure Web apps. They are applications that will be built using C#, Visual Basic (and maybe C++). These apps will be developed using the new Windows 8 app model and take advantage of its inherent servicing and packaging technologies and that will be available via the anticipated Windows 8 app store.

This is going to be an interesting year as we learn more about these new changes from Microsoft.

More from Mary Jo here…

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