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Microsoft to Open Up Windows 8 to HTML5 Apps

Although details are still somewhat sketchy, it looks like Windows 8 could see the line between web and desktop applications begin to seriously blur - if not disappear altogether in certain cases. Based on comments and demos at their recent developers' conference, Microsoft has indicated that the next version of their operating system will come with a new programming foundation. This will allow developers build native apps with the same techniques they use for web applications, namely HTML5 and JavaScript. Microsoft is calling this new approach "tailored apps."

It appears, then, that Windows 8 will support two types of applications - legacy Windows programs that will run as they always have and the new tailored apps written in HTML5, and Javascript. Tailored apps are meant to run fullscreen, and Microsoft showed off a few examples at the conference, including weather, news, Twitter, photos, and stocks.

In addition, everything in the new Windows 8 OS is heavily optimized for touch. The focus on touchscreen interfaces as well as apps illustrates the degree to which Apple has transformed the user interface world in just the past few years.

Many details remain unknown at this point - for instance, the question of whether the immersive apps will ONLY be able to be written via HTML5 has created something of a stir among developers reluctant to give up traditional Windows development practices. The company is promising more this September at their forthcoming conference which will spell out in greater detail their plans for Windows 8.

  1. Microsoft