We have all done it; when we see a link to a web page that we want to share with others, we copy that website URL, then go to another web site or a program like an email client, Facebook or Twitter, and then past that URL we want to share. Now Microsoft says that experience has been made much more simpler with both Internet Explorer 10 and Windows 8.
In the newest post on the official IE blog, Microsoft talks about using the new Share charm in Windows 8 to share content with others. The blog post states, "When you use the Share charm to share a site from the browser, IE10 creates two data formats that contain relevant content – the URI, and some HTML that includes a rich representation of the page." An example of that kind of content sharing is shown above, which is how a preview of a YouTube link might look in IE 10.
Both of these data formats are created for an “implicit” share, which is the name for what happens when you share the site that you are currently viewing. Since Web pages can be represented as hyperlinks or a rich HTML link preview, IE10 includes both types of data. Of course, if you aren’t sharing the whole page, but rather, some content that you’ve highlighted, IE10 will share the HTML of your selection instead of the URI and the link preview. In this case, sharing a selection would be called an “explicit” share, and does not include the link.
But what if you see a link to a web page that you want to view later? Microsoft has come up with a sample app called Stash that allows for saving links in IE 10 on Windows 8; you can download and use the Stash app right now. You will need to install both the Windows 8 Consumer preview along with the Visual Studio 11 beta to run the Stash app.
Web site developers can program their sites to work with Windows 8 and IE 10 in order to show what kind of information is shared with a website link. Microsoft says that kind of information can be determined with some "extra meta-data markup."
If you are developing a Windows 8 Metro app, you might want to consider adding support for HTML as a shared data format if that Windows 8 app supports the Share target app contract. Microsoft says:
Apps that use HTML can benefit from the link previews shared by IE10 because IE10 does all of the heavy lifting. It parses the site and puts together a short and informative link preview, and all your app needs to do is display and host the HTML. The hyperlink is embedded within the preview, so it functions just like a Uri, but looks much better. This way, apps that don’t have the resources to parse the Web to condense pages into small, rich previews, can still display contextual links as HTML.
Images via Microsoft