Comparing Windows 8.1 Store and Desktop Apps - dummies

Comparing Windows 8.1 Store and Desktop Apps

You can move, resize, overlap, and switch between desktop application windows in Windows 8.1 just as you could in earlier versions of Windows. From the earliest versions of Windows, users have been able to multitask and have more than one application open at a time. They could have several different applications open in their own windows.


Generally speaking, there were very few limits on what you could do with desktop application windows. You could, for example, resize them so that you could view a whole bunch of desktop application windows at the same time. Such an arrangement might not be all that useful if you couldn’t actually see what was going on in the various desktop application windows, but you weren’t prevented from creating a totally useless view.

Windows Store apps are a whole different breed compared to Windows desktop applications. Windows Store app windows have to follow some specific rules that make them function quite differently than Windows desktop apps.

Here are some of the rules that Windows Store apps have to follow:

  • Windows Store apps can’t overlap.

  • Windows Store apps must fill the entire height of the screen, and their minimum height is 768 pixels.

  • Windows Store apps can reside side-by-side on the screen, but they can never be narrower than the minimum width specified by their designer.

  • The default minimum width for Windows 8.1 Windows Store apps is 500 pixels, but it can be as little as 320 pixels.

  • Because users can open more than two apps at a time, Windows 8.1 apps can’t count on being adjacent to the right or left edge of the screen.

Although Windows 8.1 technically allows up to four Windows Store apps to be open at the same time on one screen, in reality you’ll probably find that your screen resolution limits you to having no more than two apps open on one monitor.