With Windows 8, Microsoft seems to have really taken the old user friendly slogan to heart by making its new product less complicated and less overwhelming for the average user. That even goes for the most basic applications, like its calendar.
Microsoft’s new calendar app will "show your life clearly," Microsoft said in a blog post put up by Steven Sinofsky, the President of the Windows, on Friday.
The post, written by Colin Anthony, a lead programmer for Windows Live, outlined what will be new about the calendar on Windows 8, including how to navigate it and how to add events.
“When we set out to design the Calendar app for Windows 8, there was no shortage of directional possibilities. Given the long history of calendars in society, and the diversity of Windows customers, we asked ourselves: What are the essential attributes of a great calendaring experience and how can we bring them to life by using the uniquely rich capabilities of Windows 8?”
In terms of presentation, Microsoft says it went for clarity over the distraction of “extra bells and whistles.”
“We realized that focus is one thing paper calendars have always been quite good at --- they simply present you with the calendar grid and the information you’ve written on it.”
The new app also allows users to have more control over which events on its calendar will stand out by allowing them to change the color of events, and hide birthday notices coming from social networks, in order to make things less cluttered.
This newer, simpler design also extends to how the app lets users navigate between different months, how they can switch from a monthly to a daily view and how they can add events.
Moving forward or backwards through the calendar requires simple swipes in either direction, while a “view switcher” will be provided in the app bar, but will otherwise remain hidden.
Adding events is even simpler: just tap on the date in question and add your new event.
“When you think about paper calendars, they’re very direct—you identify a date, move your hand towards it and start writing. It all happens quite naturally, and we do it without much thought because of the paper calendar’s simplicity and purity of design.”
The new calendar app also gives new notifications, including they call “lightweight pop-ups” which are meant to not intrude on the user. On the Windows phone, events will also be displayed on the lock screen.
A brand-new feature on the calendar application is the “two-day view,” which allows users to see events for the current day, as well as what is going on tomorrow. They are offering this new view to give its users enhanced time management.
“The two-day view is useful because making good time management decisions today often requires understanding what’s coming up tomorrow. In addition, this view takes advantage of today’s modern wide-screen displays without adding additional chrome or distractions just to fill up the extra space.“
(Image source: blogs.msdn.com)