Skype isn’t the only new application that will be available for Windows 8 at launch: Tablets and PCs sporting the new operating system will also have access to some broadcast TV content from Hulu Plus, as well. On the company’s blog today, Hulu announced that it will be launching its Windows 8 app on October 26, the same day that devices running the Microsoft operating system will finally become available.
Of course, the Hulu Windows 8 app will borrow all the same design stylings as the Microsoft operating system — it’ll be tile-based and will offer up a “panorama” of featured shows when users open it up. The whole idea is to make it easier for users to discover and watch the shows they love, so it will also put some key features* in the app bar.** When a user selects an episode, they’ll be treated with a menu of options, like “Play” or “Queue.” Users will also be able to “Pin” shows***, making them directly on their home screen, without having to go through the fuss of actually, you know, GOING INTO THE APP and LOOKING FOR THEM.
Users will also be able to minimize shows they’re watching into a “Snap View” and multitask, replicating the typical TV watching experience where they’re not watching TV and doing email instead. They don’t even need a second screen to do so — the whole ignoring TV experience is right there in the same device. If feeling particularly ambitious, a user could maybe watch a Hulu episode while the TV is on in the background and while doing email, but that takes skills.
Anyway, the latest version of the Hulu Plus app is part of the company’s effort to get onto as many devices as possible, even if those devices probably won’t sell very well. And for Microsoft, this is likely just the tip of the iceberg for app announcements, as everyone’s trying to get their Windows 8 stuff noticed before Apple takes over the conversation tomorrow. Good luck, guys!
* Whatever that means
*** I hope Pinterest did some trademarking