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With the Modern Windows 8 UI, you can have utmost two apps showing on the screen at a time. However, you have to select a primary app, which occupies the majority of the screen space. The other App occupies less than 30% of the screen space. You can toggle between the views to change the sharing of screen space between these Apps.

However, there are many scenarios where one wishes to have two Apps open on the screen with each occupying half the screen. An example could be watching a lecture and taking notes at the same time. This is currently not possible in the Metro mode and I cannot understand why (I certainly do not see any technical difficulty in its implementation).

Is there a way to achieve this (without going to the Desktop view)? And if not, any clue why this is not supported?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

There's no way to do this. You can only snap an app to either side of the screen and make it 320px wide or the remaining width of the screen. You cannot make them 50% the width, it's not possible.

Microsoft has a good reason for this: so that app developer can focus on what to show when you snap the app to the side. Remember that this is not the same as snapping in the desktop environment, when you snap a Modern UI app to the side, its content has to change as well to match that position. Allowing freedom to choose percentage of the screen to snap the app would make it harder for app developer to code their content accordingly

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30% + 60% = 90%? – Bob Oct 28 '12 at 0:17
Thanks, but when they let the user drag the split-screen-bar, they could have let 50% be an option. It has been the most common use case for most users, a proof of which is Windows 7's feature (new at that time) of snapping the screen to 100% or 50% on the Desktop. Also, developers would have no trouble with 50% i assume. There is still a lot of space at 50% of screen to have the entire app running in full. 30% is more of a problem i presume - a miniature version of the App or a new screen needs to be designed for a really small screen space. – AbhishekGirish Oct 28 '12 at 0:17
@Bob well actually it's 33 and 66 to be precise – Chin Oct 28 '12 at 0:17
@AbhishekGirish yeah that's true, which is why I still think Windows 8 with app-oriented design is not suitable for PC – Chin Oct 28 '12 at 0:22
The thinking behind this design decision was that the user will at one time concentrate only on the primary app, and meanwhile can have another app running in a smaller window for occasional interaction. The best use case as per them IIRC was working on a document and having a small chat window open in which you type intermittently (if you can concentrate on both!) – Karan Oct 28 '12 at 3:20

No; this is not possible; you cannot have more than two Modern UI app running at once. (even with multiple monitors)

I would imagine that Microsoft felt that the UI to support such a mode would be too confusing.

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Thanks, but you can have more than one Modern UI app running at once on the screen, sharing the screen space, as explained in my question description. Users are allowed to drag the split-screen-bar - but it snaps only at the sides and not at the center. – AbhishekGirish Oct 28 '12 at 0:10
@AbhishekGirish: Sorry; I meant to say two. – SLaks Oct 28 '12 at 0:12
yeah sometimes typos happen =) – AbhishekGirish Oct 28 '12 at 0:13

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