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Windows 8 Release Preview will include Metro multiple monitor improvements

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Microsoft has improved its multiple monitor support in Windows 8 Release Preview, including the ability to launch Metro apps on any display.

Windows 8 displays stock
Windows 8 displays stock

Microsoft has greatly improved its Windows 8 multiple monitor support in the Consumer Preview version of the operating system, but the company has fine tuned this even more with the upcoming Release Preview. Mark Yalovsky, a member of Microsoft's User Experience team, has taken to the company's Building Windows 8 blog to detail a number of important improvements in the Release Preview, including improved mouse targeting on shared edges and the ability to launch Metro apps on any monitor. Although the post in question has been mysteriously removed by Microsoft, we managed to secure the details thanks to a Google cached version.

Multiple monitor support in Windows 8 Consumer Preview included improvements such as taskbar options for multiple displays, desktop wallpaper spanning and even the ability to show a different desktop background on each individual monitor. Unfortunately, Metro felt a little awkward on multiple monitors in the Consumer Preview and Microsoft says the feedback on this "has been vocal and clear." To address the consistency of launching Metro apps on multiple displays, Microsoft is tweaking the Release Preview to let users launch the Metro Start Screen on any monitor. You will also be able to bring up the charms bar, launch and move Metro style apps, and switch back to an app from any monitor.


Microsoft has implemented a new way of using Metro on multiple displays by designing an improved method to identify shared edges. Windows 8 Release Preview will include "real corners" along shared edges to bump up against and target controls like the charms bar or app switcher. The work is demonstrated in the video below and it now appears to be a lot easier to navigate the Metro environment with multiple monitors, something that was tricky in the Consumer Preview as your mouse would typically glide onto the second screen and miss the UI controls. Although these improvements will certainly help multiple monitor users, Microsoft says there's more to come and the company plans to enhance the experience and APIs even further in future.