Before you design and build Microsoft Surface applications, you should understand what the users see and experience.
For a quick video that shows users interacting with a device made for Surface, see Microsoft Showcase: The Microsoft Surface 2.0 Experience.
When users are interacting with a device made for Surface, they have no mouse or keyboard or any reason to use them. More importantly, users do not see any Microsoft Windows user interface and they are not aware that the Windows 7 operating system is present in the device made for Surface. This situation is called Surface Mode. In Surface Mode, all Windows user interface and functionality are suppressed.
In a typical session, a user does the following:
Interacts with an attract application, which is similar to a screen saver that is touch-sensitive. Attract applications are designed to attract users to the device made for Surface and then entice them to interact with it.
Taps the access point in the center of the Attract application to open Launcher and explore other applications. Launcher is a horizontal filmstrip that moves across the screen and displays icons for all available applications. Users always start an application from Launcher.
Taps an icon in Launcher to select and open a standard Surface application. An application that users start from Launcher displays on the entire screen. Only one application displays at a time, but multiple applications can run simultaneously.
Navigates back to Launcher to open other applications by sliding one of the access points.
Finishes a session by returning to Launcher and sliding one of the access points.
The Surface platform also includes automatic time-outs. If a user does not touch a device made for Surface after a set period of time when an application is running, Surface asks whether the user wants to continue using the application or close everything and end the experience (which returns them to the attract application). If the user does not respond, all applications close and the attract application is displayed.
In addition, the device made for Surface displays an out-of-order screen if it encounters an error that it cannot recover from.
You can also configure the device made for Surface to take one of the following actions:
Configure object routing so that users can open applications by using tagged objects instead of Launcher.
Enable single-application mode so that a device made for Surface runs only one application at all times. In this mode, the Surface software does not display an attract application or Launcher.
Set up a localized user interface so that the Surface software uses a different language and format for the user interface, including numbers, currencies, keyboard layouts, and so on.
For more information about what users interact with on a device made for Surface, see the following topics:
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