XBOX Surface concept
So, it is just about certain that Microsoft will be announcing a 7-inch device called the XBOX Surface this year. There have been multiple rumors about it, and the original Surface leak was for this device. I have a bunch of ideas for how this could work out, so I thought I would post some of the concepts I have done.
Disclaimer: I am still not completely satisfied with the product so far, and it isn't completely finished or even polished. So I would love some feedback!
First of all, the XBOX Surface will be running a variant of Windows Blue that is specifically aimed a media consumption and gaming. As such, the tablet will have a four main "hubs" for Games, Music, and Videos (all powered by Xbox), as well as Books (kind of powered by Nook). There will also be a main Apps screen that will look very similar to the WP8 start screen.
The only major addition to the look is new extra-large square live tiles, that have been (ever so slightly) widget-ized. You'll see what I mean in a minute. You can get back and forth between hubs by swiping left or right, the same way the All Apps screen is opened in WP8. Alternatively, you can use the semantic zoom pinch gesture to get to any of the hubs quickly. This is seen in the first concept:
As you can see, Charms have also been optimized for this device, and they come up when semantic zoom is used. There is a dedicated SmartGlass charm, and this means that the SmartGlass experience is heavily integrated with everything in the OS. I hope you can imagine the possibilities. BIG.
So what would one of these "hubs" look like? Well, the image below should give you an idea. Sorry it isn't finished yet. :)
As you can see, there are now four tile sizes, but the extra-large tile is reserved for the app powering each one of the hubs. With the music Hub Tile (as I will call them), you are able to play, pause, and skip music, or just launch the app. A few of the small tiles will perform hub-specific functions--the two here are to create a new Smart DJ and to play a playlist. Artists and albums can also be pinned to the hub screen, as seen with Billy Joel and Boston's album. Social music updates, which Microsoft has promised in an update to Xbox Music, will show up on a separate live tile.
Well, I have a lot more ideas, but I will have to save those for another day before this post gets WAY too long. Again, comments, questions, and feedback are appreciated!