Microsoft developing new Windows 8 note-taking app

Microsoft has been making a number of its own internal apps for Windows 8, including a number from the Bing division. This week, the Visual C++ team announced it is working on its own Windows 8 app, with the code name Project Austin.

In a post on the Visual C++ blog, Microsoft's Jorge Pereira talks about the app. He writes:

Austin is a digital note-taking app for Windows 8. You can add pages to your notebook, delete them, or move them around. You can use digital ink to write or draw things on those pages. You can add photos from your computer, from SkyDrive, or directly from your computer's camera. You can share the notes you create to other Windows 8 apps such as e-mail or SkyDrive.

Pereira adds that Project Austin is not meant to be a replacement for the OneNote software in Microsoft Office, saying, "We believe in the beautiful simplicity of just a pen and a piece of paper, and that's what we tried to recreate with it."

Pereira also mentions that Project Austin was based on an earlier project with the code-name Courier.

The blog says that the main objective of Project Austin was to show the power of making Windows 8 apps with C++ and it goes into quite a bit of detail about how the app was made. For example, the app was designed to have a mode that made it look like the user was turning a real page. Pereira says:

Getting this page curling right was also an interesting piece of work. We started by using a physics engine to try to simulate the paper but it ended up looking too much like cloth. Eventually, we wrote some code inspired by [1] that wraps the paper around a "virtual", invisible cone that changes form as the user swipes the finger across the screen. The results of this much simpler approach look great.

This is apparently the first of several blog posts planned for Project Austin, but at the moment there's no word on when the app will be released for Windows 8.

Source: Visual C++ blog | Image via Microsoft

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