The Consumer Preview of Windows 8 was a bit of a nightmare when used on multiple monitors with the taskbar stretched across both displays, and offered no obvious reasoning behind the odd design. Luckily for us (meaning the collective Windows user base), Microsoft has confirmed via their Windows 8 Blog that positive changes will be coming to the experience. But that doesn’t mean they are going to stray too far from the Windows 7 multi-display formula.
Basically, the way Windows 8 is displayed on multiple monitors completely depends on your unique preferences when interacting with the new software. You can have the Metro Start screen on one monitor with the classic desktop view on the other. You can also have the classic desktop view on two monitors or the Metro screen stretched across both monitors. Of course, you can take any combination of the two and display them on three, four, or more screens.
Customization has been improved as well. Microsoft has enabled smart-selection for portrait-style monitors, improved shared corners, allowed more than one image as a desktop background, and the option to span one panoramic image across multiple monitors. Improvements have been made to the taskbar as well, providing the option to set a main screen to hold all your open app icons, or span the taskbar across all monitors and display app icons on whichever screen holds the corresponding open window.
But there’s more. Gestures are accessible from each monitor, which means Start, Charms, and Settings can be opened by moving your mouse (or finger if your PC is touch-enabled) into the appropriate hot corner. You can also drag-and-drop apps from monitor to monitor, a feature that works with both full-screen and snapped apps.
So it looks like Microsoft will finally do right by their customers with Windows 8, putting the decisions in the hands of their users. The new multi-display functionality allows for any number of configurations and can even keep the Metro Start screen out of the way for those Windows purists who can’t stand innovation.