Microsoft wants to share info about the Windows 8 Share charm

Mother always said it's best to share with others, and Microsoft apparently feels the same way with its Windows 8 Share charm.

In a recent post on the official Windows 8 app developer blog, Microsoft offers up an extensive look at how app makers can use the Share charm. There are a number of different data formats that can be accessed by the Share charm, including text, a URI, a Bitmap file or an HTML file. Microsoft says, "We recommend that you provide the shared content in as many data formats as you can to maximize the set of target apps that will recognize the content from your app."

Microsoft uses its demo Windows 8 app, Food with Friends, to give some examples of how the Share charm might work. For example, the app's landing page can let users access a calendar app to let other people know when and where dinner is scheduled to begin. It can also access a social networking app to, for example, send a Facebook news posts to their friends.

Microsoft believes putting in Share charm support is important for any Windows 8 app, saying, "By supporting sharing, your app is at a competitive advantage because sharing broadens the scope of end-to-end user scenarios possible from within the app itself."

Source: Windows 8 app developer blog | Image via Microsoft

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The share charm is one of the most innovative features that nobody talks about. I think it's awesome how you can highlight text and share with Wikipedia and it will pull up relevant articles. Or share with Onenote. Or...the list goes on. Can't wait to see what developers do with it.

This is good that they encourage such usability. Frankly, many Windows 8 apps have no sharing capability. I only wish that the Charms bar was a little more environment-aware. Frankly, there is no need to display the Share charm while on the Desktop, since you can't share anything from the desktop, or any program run from the Desktop. Same with the devices Charm. Absolutely no use while in the Desktop.

Devices charm has a use on desktop, I use it to enable/disable my second monitor. I only use the second monitor to watch movies, and having a GTX 580, disabling it lowers my GPU temps about 15c. I know you can just do the same from the screen resolution context menu, but it is more consistent to use the charm in both metro and desktop if nothing else.

The share charm is awesome but on the desktop it does absolutely nothing. I think MS could add in some parts of the | -desktop -> right click -> send to -| items like being able to select a file go to share charm and have send to bluetooth device, email, zip file etc. At the moment it has huge potential to make things easier to do but it hasn't been impelemented to its full capability, at least on the desktop where many users spend almost all their time. Hopefully we will see devices and share charm actually doing something productive other than "nothing can be sent from the desktop"

It's a shame the messenger doesn't support share of links, it's such a pain trying to tell people about that awesome app you just found, rather then sending them a link directly in the chat you're talking to them with, you have to send it via email or facebook etc. strange way of doing things.

If it's much more, explain how and I will explain everything it does could be done previously in just as many clicks/keypresses.

The Share charm shares data in a protected manner between applications. Before developers had to create their own functionality for this, which may or may not work (but probably didn't, unless it was between the same developers applications.)

For example, you can share music with the game you're playing so it turns its own music off automatically, whereas before you'd have to implement an entire music playing API or over-complicated code into your app.

The data formats a source can share includes URIs, text, HTML, Bitmap and File. Under which of these does sharing audio and playing it come? Btw the scenario you gave is possible in a Desktop app too, just mute the game playing the sound and start your favorite media player. My point is it's just new ways to do the same stuff, not a more efficient way to do new stuff.

MsftGaurav said,
My point is it's just new ways to do the same stuff, not a more efficient way to do new stuff.

It's rather a more efficient way to do the same stuff...which means people will actually use it instead of not doing it at all.

It would be nice if it actually shared anything from the desktop. I feel like a screen capture or window should always be an option. Or at the very minimum hook it up to IE so it will share your current tabbed URL with someone.

It's powerful, yes, but Microsoft isn't even taking full advantage of it. Lead by example.

It's a shame, because in the consumer preview, the desktop did actually share a screenshot of the desktop I'm not sure whether they removed it because there's the possibility of desktop apps using WinRT apis to hook into the share charm themselves or not.

They need to make some features available from the Share charm that you would think would be there out of the box. For example, wanting to share something with my sister (and just my sister). I don't have the option to post it to her Facebook wall. When I first realized I couldn't do this, I was set aback. Is there a particular reason why this isn't part of the UX?

srprimeaux said,
They need to make some features available from the Share charm that you would think would be there out of the box. For example, wanting to share something with my sister (and just my sister). I don't have the option to post it to her Facebook wall. When I first realized I couldn't do this, I was set aback. Is there a particular reason why this isn't part of the UX?


Agree 100%. But the answer is, Facebook needs an app that will then implement the sharing contract.

out of all the charms, share is the most useful, however i'm still puzzled how they decided to include the "devices" charm. I still have found no use in it, and it takes up very important real estate on the side bar

the full screen apps for desktop is the stupidest idea Microsoft ever made, I have seen many stupid ideas in their products since 1992, and very smart ideas as well, but the Metro full screen for desktop is beyond stupid, I mean it requires special stupidity skills to achieve that.

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