Deploying on Windows 8 Tablets with Qt Commercial
The upcoming Windows 8 release is expected to bring a large amount of different kinds of tablet devices into the market. These devices are typically equipped with desktop-like capabilities, and can basically run all today’s existing Windows applications. Digia has been testing Qt Commercial with the Windows 8 Developer Preview, and both Qt C++ and Qt Quick applications work nicely. There were no modifications needed to make them run just like they do on Windows 7. However, in order to maximally benefit from the new things in Windows 8, the Metro style needs to be brought to Qt.
Windows 8 will target both desktop and tablet devices, with the new Metro style being clearly focused on tablets. It is expected that the Windows 8 tablets will have about equivalent capabilities to the laptops today, including compatibility with the Windows 7 style of applications. The benefits of the Metro style are naturally more apparent in the tablet devices.
Digia has investigated how well Qt Commercial 4.8 runs with the Windows 8 Developer Preview on a few tablet and desktop devices designed to run Windows 7. Applications have been working nicely and application performance has been good even in devices with low-end tablet hardware. We have also already contributed some of the found Windows 8 development environment related issues to the Qt Project, and are looking forward to continue this co-operation.
In order to maximally benefit from the Metro style Windows 8 brings and to develop applications as easily as possible, a set of Metro components is needed for Qt. Even without ready-made components, it is possible to make your own applications look like Metro applications quite easily. This can be achieved with graphics and by styling your application. Actually, Qt Quick already includes several layouts and elements that are very similar to Metro components. Of course, creating Metro style applications with Qt isn’t limited to only Qt Quick applications. We have also been experimenting with styling C++ based Qt applications to Metro style and yet again proved the versatility of the Qt framework.
Digia intends to work actively in the Qt Project in order to create the Metro components for easy deployment of Qt applications on Windows 8. The timeframe of Windows 8’s availability is not yet publicly confirmed by Microsoft, but we will stay tuned for it.
To learn more about Qt Commercial and our future supported platforms, added features and functions and our involvement in the Qt project, make sure to hear our talk at Qt Developer Days 2011 San Francisco - the breakfast seminar. Register now to the event: http://qt.nokia.com/qtdevdays2011
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