Windows 8 will extend the pinned site concept introduced in Internet Explorer 9 so that live tiles on the desktop can represent pinned websites, with Jump Lists and notifications if a site's content has been updated.
Microsoft continues to drip-feed information about the features in its upcoming next-generation version of Windows, with the latest tidbit coming from the firm's IE Blog describing how Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10 will handle pinned sites.
The pinned site concept was introduced with IE9, allowing users to create a shortcut directly to a commonly accessed website from the Windows taskbar.
With the new Metro-style user interface in Windows 8, the taskbar goes away and so pinned sites will be represented as tiles alongside those for applications, Microsoft said.
"Pinned sites on Windows 8 make it fast and easy to immediately get to your sites. With badge notifications, site tiles come alive with up-to-date information and help you know when new content is available," wrote Rahul Lalmalani, Internet Explorer programme manager at Microsoft.
With badge notifications, Windows 8 will scan pinned sites for updates, a mechanism that enables notifications such as new messages for email accounts or social networks, new discounts on a shopping site, or new articles added to a newsfeed, Microsoft said.
Badge notifications require the site to provide some XML and meta tags to define where Windows should look for updates, and the frequency. Some sample code is provided on the IE Blog.
Jump lists are also supported for pinned sites, and are displayed the same way as with IE9 on the Windows 7 taskbar.
Jump lists allow sites to expose specific functions, or link to a different part of the site.
"Internet Explorer 10 puts sites at the centre of the experience through integration with the Windows 8 Start screen. Web developers can create site-centric visuals for pinned site tiles, share when there are new updates available for the site, and offer jump lists to navigate quickly around the site," Lalmalani said.
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