Windows Simulator lets you touch Windows 8 using just a mouse

For those of us without a touch slate or Tablet PC, it’s now at least possible to try some of the touch features of Windows 8 by just using a mouse.

Bundled with the Windows 8 Developer Preview, the Windows Simulator might look similar but is much more advanced than the Windows Phone Emulator. It can be launched through Visual Studio or directly with “\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Simulator\Microsoft.Windows.Simulator.exe“.

Although the content is just a loopback remote desktop session (I wonder if you can do simulator inception), the application allows the simulation of several touch features including single touch, zoom gestures and the rotation gesture. It also simulates rotation and different screen sizes and resolutions for high DPI application testing.

Obviously it’s nothing like the real thing, but at least something is better than nothing.

17 insightful thoughts

  1. This is nice, but the fact that you even need it kind if outlines the failure of the win8 dev preview for non-touch setups. I realize there’s a year to go and am hoping they figure out that forcing hardware upgrades w/ a software upgrade is rarely a good idea…

    1. You mean like the way Apple forced users to completely ditch PowerPC and move to Intel when they dropped PowerPC support in OS X 10.6 in 2008 was a bad idea? The Metro UI is touch centric. I don’t think there’s any real way around that. How well that translates to old hardware is iffy, but I think MS believes we are on the cusp of a new computing paradigm that is driven by tablets, slates and other touch centric mobile devices. That said, you can always drop out of Metro and run the OS in what amounts to legacy mode, so that would seem to cover legacy (non-touch) hardware…just without the Metro UI.

  2. Something that just sprang to mind: I remember seeing an article on dated from about August 2001, and it showed a user interface prototype that when I think about it, reminds me very much of this Metro style “Start Centre”. I bet Microsoft had probably been planning something this drastic for Windows since the early 1990s, but if they had introduced it back then, it would have been way too much ahead of it’s time.

  3. hi friends!
    in 32 bit version there is no such folder
    Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Windows Simulator :-(

    these are the folders I find in the folder “Common Files\Microsoft Shared” :
    -Windows Live


  4. No such program in the regular Win 8 Developer Preview (3.6 gb) x64 download. Perhaps this is part of the Win 8 Developer Preview with Developer Tools (4.8 gb) x64 download?

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