Short: Websites can launch Windows 8 applications

I just discovered this interesting feature of Windows 8 that allows websites to connect users with Metro-style applications.

The BUILD conference website uses a currently undocumented meta tag that changes the website’s icon to a button in Internet Explorer. Clicking the button reveals a “Switch to BUILD app” button which seamlessly launches the BUILD app.

The META tags also seem to imply applications have the ability to hard-code their application ID which may match ones that exist in the Windows Store so users without the app installed can be taken to the listing directly. This would make application discovery for website-driven brands (ex. news sites) much easier.

9 insightful thoughts

  1. Not trying to spam, troll, flame, advertise or in any way annoy anybody, but for anyone who is interested I am creating a Taskforce site for Windows 8 like what Long did for Windows Vista and Windows 7 etc. That way, if anyone finds any annoyances in Windows 8 (after all no Windows OS no matter how modern and fancy it is is going to be perfect) they can easily be documented in a way everyone can give general feedback to one another on. Annoyances would include legacy icons, dialog boxes or inconsistencies. Since Windows 8 is now mostly feature locked, if anybody posts any feature requests they will either likely turn up in Windows 8 SP1 or Windows 9.

    When the website is complete, I will post the address as a comment on one of Long’s next blog posts if he is OK with that.

    If anybody here likes the sound of that, i’d be most delighted! πŸ˜€

    1. The reason being because 1. He closed the other Taskforce sites to new submissions so he is extremely unlikely to create any new Taskforce sites now and 2. One of his friends gave me some framework to create a Taskforce site.

      Besides, unless there happens to be an unforeseeable problem, I won’t randomly close the Taskforce site. πŸ˜‰

  2. I can see websites like CNN and Yahoo directing people to their own apps since it seems Flash isn’t going to be supported in Metro IE. They’ll monetize their ad traffic there (and it’ll be a much better experience in general anyway).

    I mean, can you just imagine what Windows 8 apps from popular websites would look like? They’d be AMAZING. I’m almost tempted to create some mockups myself!

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