Microsoft Research shows off awesome interactive live tiles for Windows

Update: Microsoft has now pulled the page and videos

While there's a lot to love about live tiles in Windows and Windows Phone, there's one element that's been missing: interactivity. Sure, they'll refresh with your latest notifications, but all you can do is tap on them to open the respective app. Microsoft Research is aware of this limitation, and is working actively to supercharge live tiles with interactive elements.

The gist of Microsoft Research's interactive tiles concept is that you can tap on the tile to expand its height into a miniature window in the start screen. For email, for example, it displays a list of your emails, and tapping one will open that specific email in the email app. There's an interactive live tile for the calculator as well, letting you perform quick calculations right from the start screen. Interactive live tiles can even live in the multitasking sidebar, letting you, for example, browse your OneDrive files and drag an item straight from that into your working app.

Thanks to Travis for the video!

The potential applications for these interactive live tiles are many, though there's no time frame for when we might see them actually hit Windows and Windows Phone (certainly it will be a substantial update to both the OS and SDKs).

It's a really cool concept, but we want to know: what do you want to see from interactive live tiles?

Source: Microsoft Research (1), (2) Via:, Thanks to Jagar for the tip!

Derek Kessler

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm, and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.