Microsoft's Windows 10 'CShell' adaptable UI in images and video (exclusive)
We have exclusive screenshots and video of Microsoft's upcoming "CShell" adaptive UI for Windows 10!
At the beginning of this year, I exclusively revealed that Microsoft is working on a brand new Windows Shell, called "Composable Shell," or "CShell," that's goal is to bring an adaptive, scalable UI across all types of device form factors, including PCs, tablets, phones, Xbox and HoloLens. Up until now, we haven't actually seen CShell in action. Thanks to Microsoft's recent accidental release of internal pre-release builds, that all changes today.
Here's a quick recap before we dive in. CShell is Microsoft's new Windows Shell that will eventually replace the existing Windows Shell in future releases of Windows 10. It's an adaptable shell that can scale in real time, adapting to different screen sizes and orientations on the fly. CShell is a shell modularized into sub-components, which can transition between those components when required, making for a far more flexible user experience on devices that have multiple form factors.
Shared UI and Continuum
CShell is a big deal. It allows Microsoft to build one shell that scales across form factors, and in this article you will see exactly what that means. Let's start with the Start screen, which with Windows 10 Mobile differs slightly from the Start experience found on desktop. For example, Windows 10 desktop has large tile sizes, context menus and a few additional options that Windows 10 Mobile doesn't.
With CShell, that all changes. CShell enables the same Start experience found on a PC on phones, which includes that additional large Live tile size, context menus, and all the same options found in those context menus, such as the ability to turn Live tiles on and off for specific apps. You get the same experience found on desktop on a phone powered by CShell. The similarities don't just end there, however.
The Action Center is also shared across PC and phone with CShell. When you swipe down on Action Center, you get the same, familiar Action Center design you already know from desktop PCs, directly on your phone. At the bottom, you can see your Quick Actions, all of which are customizable just like they are on PC. At the top, you see your latest notifications, which are also actionable and can be swiped away when needed.
Another new addition is a universal landscape mode that works on the Start screen and Apps. Turning your phone sideways shifts the entire UI, including Live tiles, into landscape orientation. We're not sure if this is just a bug, or if it's is the intended behavior. This is prerelease software after all. Regardless, landscape mode is there. Landscape mode feels universal. The UI jumps in and out of apps in landscape mode like you'd expect from an app that supports landscape. Adding landscape mode to Windows phones has been a popular request from Insiders, so it makes sense that Microsoft is finally working on it.
CShell also introduces a number of new improvements to the Continuum experience. Booting into Continuum, you can see the work Microsoft has been doing to make the experience more powerful. Windowed mode is here, enabling the ability to run several apps at one time directly on your phone when connected to an external screen. It supports Windows Snap and Task View, too. Fluent Design elements also work when in Continuum, another nice touch.
These screenshots are also an early look at what PCs will look like when CShell arrives, with the addition of Win32 support, of course. The idea with CShell here is to bring the exact same desktop environment to phones, and vice versa. So, it makes sense to see CShell Continuum mimicking the desktop because it is the desktop. It'll be the same desktop environment on PC as it is on phone devices.
This is still pre-release software however, so not everything represents what the CShell desktop will be. For example, the Start menu seen in our images and video today is not an accurate representation of what the Start menu will look like on desktop. That'd be silly.
The next attempt at Windows on mobile devices?
Silverlight apps do not launch with CShell. Tapping on a Silverlight app such as WhatsApp simply does nothing, because Microsoft intends to drop Silverlight support with its next attempt at Windows phone. (You can read more about that here.)
Speaking of Microsoft's next attempt at Windows on mobile devices, CShell will play a huge part in it. We're not entirely sure if CShell will be coming to existing Windows 10 Mobile devices. There's no technical reason as to why it couldn't, but we think Microsoft might want to save CShell for its next major attempt at Windows phone, which we hear will debut sometime during 2018.
If Microsoft decides to bring CShell to existing Windows phones, I expect to see that happen before then. But I'm not holding my breath. A timeframe for CShell on desktop is also pretty hazy, and my sources were unable to commit a specific release time frame. What we do know is CShell will likely be coming to mobile devices first before making its way to desktops.
The images in this post show you what CShell looks like on a phone. From there, it's not hard to imagine what CShell will look like on PC. It'll look identical because that's the goal of CShell; it's the same shell across devices. Your desktop will continue to look just like a desktop when CShell arrives. The same goes for Xbox, HoloLens and everything else that has a UI.
CShell is the another stepping stone towards Microsoft's "One Windows" vision and is a big deal for Microsoft and Windows in general. We can't wait to see what else the company has planned for Windows 10.
This article features prerelease software. The UI is not final, and there are several bugs and UI issues present, and some features are not finished. As is the case with all prerelease software, everything is subject to change.
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Zac Bowden is a Senior Editor at Windows Central. Bringing you exclusive coverage into the world of Windows on PCs, tablets, phones, and more. Also an avid collector of rare Microsoft prototype devices! Keep in touch on Twitter: @zacbowden.
Future updates? One branch... One branch... ONE BRANCH!😎
❗ I TOLD YOU SO🙂❗
Now, go give Jason Ward a big apology.
.. Fans are just happy that we can look forward to continued use of Windows on Phone, and that Hardware is rumored to be in development..... The fact is that fans are beginning to see their dream device come to life. A mobile device made by Panos team, and running Windows... That's all we're claiming right now.
...i love it lol
Now, I never said anything about Servers, or iOT, or any other specialize versions of Windows MS, and it's partners may see necessary. No, you're misunderstanding me... From what I can see Cshell, WOA, WinS,, these are all highly consumer oriented projects that have enterprise value as well.. There will be 1 OS for all screens including "phones"... Screen is the keyword here...... Now, tell me, what am I wrong about again? Today don't see as being that day to call Rodney out😜
Man, it's simple. One OS that adapts to any form factor. End of story. Windows10. One, Windows that can run on x86, or arm,,, whatever the hardware is... The shell will adapt to the device. No reason for a Mobile build, and a desktop build. One Build... How did you miss this?
Dude.. You can call it what you want. Whatever... One OS, one build. W10
Are you arguing about a name differentiator? Are you that basic? Nobody here even cares about that... Call it kitty kitty mobile for all I care. Whatever pleases you. Fact is that unlike now, it will just be one build of W10 that's deployed on all devices.. I can't believe I've been sitting here arguing over some basic **** about "when its on Phone It's called mobile".... That's irrelevant, and a waste of time. Everyone is past that.. Dude, you've got issues. If you're a software developer then whatever you're developing must be jacked... Now, before you keep running your mouth post a link of your work.. Post a link of your work before we continue.
I don't think HP would have made the commitment they did without some insight into Microsoft's plans. Alcatel might just have the same information. I can't see them announcing the Idol 4S Pro for Europe if it were essentially obsolete (unless they've jut got that many laying around). This whole "Retrenchment" might just be coming together. Who knows, a Samsung Note 8 "with Windows 10"? C-Shell might be that "next big thing".
And if you think about it, there are already thousands of W32 apps that can take control of Windows audio... They just have to be bridged into UWP apps💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥💥.... Windows on Phone could turn out to be as customizable as Android... We'll see.
(I'm just hoping us insiders are there for the ride - I.e. this is part of builds for current hardware)
- Snapdragon 845 with the new ARM Cortex A75, *** and Mali-A72 cores which focus on AI, VR and performance boost.
- CShell powered Continuum which is truly PC like.
- 5G ready with eSIM
- A mini tablet version and a foldable screen version
- W10 on ARM which supports all UWP, converted Win32 and web apps (progressive web apps)
- Up to 8GB RAM and 256 GB storage
CShell is a major milestone for MS' mobile effort and will also help expanding the Windows Store apps.
I wish their focus in fluent design switch from eye candy to scalable touch experiences and consistent controls. I don't mind the state effects, but I would like Windows 10 to stop looking in mobile like Android ginderbread. and perform like it should in flagship phones, and well without the need of an nvidia GPU.. While adreno GPUs are capable of graphics in android, I would like to see a performance in windows Desktop and Mobile.
Every glitch and frameskip subtracts to the entire experience, and the the OS entirely.
I like when the insider asks If I would recommend this build to a coworker, I imagine myself showing off the OS vs android, wich has particular launchers and customizations and a diversity of distributions in UI, they all kinda do the same, but all of them perform and deliver an experience that is %70 reliable where in windows if something isn't you got to wait.. My hope is that if they can't fix CShell they should open source that part of the OS, it might evolve faster, and depende less on their ideas, and mostly on the guidance that something like Fluent Design has to offer.
Which in comparision to Material Design is in it's infancy.
Old better: http://i.imgur.com/PxshhPx.png
For the enterprise and professional sector, the functionality of CShell should give Windows 10 a nice and needed boost. This really looks like a winner in this sector to me.
Welcome to 2012.
And, based on that shrinking current device support list, you can forget about getting updated to this.. MS is only concerned about the ultimate pocketable Windows experience now.
First paragraph alludes that it was accidentally issued last week when iot and xbox builds got passed out to users, did cshell gat handed out too?
CShell, however, seems to take it there.
I am looking forward to it.
- Lumia 950 and 950XL
- Lumia 650 and 550
- Sony VAIO Biz
- Alcatel Idol 4S
- HP Elite x3
- NuAns NEO
- Curulean Moment
In summary, your comment is just selfishly foolish, which one can interpret as a reflection of yourself. My advice; you should mind your [tongue] more cautiously. And yes, I am well aware you can leave my advice here and there is a high probability you don't care what people think of you. That can be inferred from your selfishly foolish comment. Have a good day. 😉
I'm pretty excited about this. Hopefully, my 950XL can get this.
I hope 60fps transitions will be supported
Is Microsoft finally going all in on the cloud making or devices basically pure client with cshell responsible for the ui being hardware-dependent?
Or did you just get early access to a mobile build and are using the guise of the leaked build? Lol I'm just pulling straws...or am I on to something?!?!?!?!
You said, "As soon as Microsoft stops..." so you clearly set the parameters of this conversation bring about them. Samsung and Ubuntu is a moot point, thus irrelevant to this conversation.
This IS Microsoft improving the experience of what their phones can do. If something it could not do in the past is able to be done now, it's called IMPROVEMENT!
You're just biased and a short-sighted visionary bc you can't see what's happening under your nose as if you didn't JUST watch the same video as everyone else here.
I'm not saying that this new direction will be a failure. I hope they succeed. I just don't "feel" it anymore.
The only problem is the Facebook developers staff. A bunch of cowards and retards that have go to away for good and find another job. Facebook has the essential apps (e.g Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and so on) but it's developers can't make a decent app on any platform, and when they do they limit the app like they did with Instagram on pc and no desktop WhatsApp (yes they have a web wrapper app they call desktop but let's not fool ourselves, it's not)
They had Nokia..... Took them about a year to bury it. Why the hell did they buy it??
Vertical scrolling doesn't make sense, to me, on anything other than a portrait phone.
Exactly what MS is doing. If devs don't release their apps for windows mobile then bring mobility to their normal windows apps. Sooner or later every serious company will update their existing software and there's no other way but to support cshell. You guess what this means. Bye bye app gap! Revolutionary and clever move from MS if you ask me.
I hope the landscape mode is not a glitch as that would finally mean landscape qwerty keyboard phones like the HTC touch pro 2.
a great question...what is the version(and number) of OS tested?
1. there is a lot of touching up to do on the UI visually because to a normal consumer it just looks like a revamped Windows 10 mobile.
2. Microsoft needs to ensure that apps WILL be ready by the release date of the surface phone. Not just talking about the existing apps, I'm talking about all the other big apps. yeah I'm talking about Snapchat and YouTube here
3. Microsoft needs to show us how the surface phone will be adaptable i.e. change into a tablet/PC form factor without requiring Continuum because we already went down that road and Samsung will go down in history as the first company to transform a phone into a desktop in the mainstream.
4. Microsoft needs to build borders around their ecosystem by pulling all their applications off Android and iPhones. Microsoft cant keep playing both sides. They need to negotiate with apple and google on what apps will be provided for Windows on Phone in return of Microsoft services to be available for iPhone and android users If Microsoft was to perfect these 4 points, we are potentially looking at a game changing device.
lol, good luck Microsoft. I apologize for the sarcasm but I know for a fact that Microsoft will never do such a thing and they will only stick to point number 1 & 3
What I like here is the access to large live tiles, support for landscape of the startmenu, multiple windows in continuum and more consistent design. I think missed opportunities are loss of personalization options when phasing out the current windows 10 mobile, lack of more live tile sizes, a squashed look and design of the landscape menu support, and insconsistent fly out behavior of the action center in mobile, compared to pc and tablet. questions:
-does continuum now support all keyobard shortcuts?
-any new keyboard shortcut discoveries for continuum for mobile?
-can we now finally search for apps in cortana/windows search?
-does action center in continuum fly out from the top or the side?
-are there any clues if more apps support uwp in this build, for improved accessbility in continuum?
-is tablet mode accessible in continuum?
-can we snap two apps side by side in continuum?
-Are there any clue if more micrsoft productivity apps support open in new window support in continuum (for improved side by side document editing) Thanks.
it is true that the future is store apps only, but that's the exact reason to include win32 applications, otherwise you'd be left with simple apps that won't be able to replace full applications.