Windows 8 support for pinning websites explained

Windows 8 and its new Metro interface allow its users to view and access website locations in a new way. As shown above, Windows 8's Start screen lets users pin their favorite websites on the screen's interface instead of the usual bookmark menu. In a new post on the Internet Explorer developer blog, Microsoft's Rahul Lalmalani gives some tips to website designers on how they can better support such features for IE 10 and Windows 8.

Web designers can create an icon that can be used in Windows 8 to identify the site in the address bar, in the new tab page, and of course on Windows 8's new Start screen. Lalmalani states:

IE10 uses the large site icon (32 x 32 pixels) to identify the site when pinned to the Start screen the same way that IE9 used it for pinning to the task bar. IE10 extracts the dominant color from the icon and automatically uses it as the background color for the Start screen tile.

Web developers can also use those icons to give users short updates on new content. An example of this feature is the Fresh Tweets demo that informs Windows 8 users when a new Twitter message has been posted from a number of Microsoft-based Twitter pages. Windows 8 needs both Badge Notification XML code and Pinned Site Meta Tags to perform these background notifications. The blog post offers up some example code that web developers can use to add in this kind of support.

In addition, IE 10 in Windows 8 allows for pinned websites to add jump lists, which let users navigate and head to specific pages on a site, such as the example above. This kind of interface should help with touch screen users on the Metro interface. Lalmalani states:

You can add static tasks to your site’s jump list via page markup or dynamically based on user interactions. Badge and jump lists in Windows 8 are a site-centric feature. Each fully qualified domain name can have one and only one set of polling data and jump list data.

Images via Microsoft

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