We all have a number of apps installed on our computers, but the process of locating them can be a bit of a hassle. Obviously, we can pin the apps to the Start screen for quick access, but scrolling horizontally in the list of apps can be a pain. To make this process a little simpler, Microsoft is launching Apportals, which simplifies the way apps are grouped -- by combining related apps in a folder-like tile. Microsoft calls them Grid Tiles, but they are similar to Live Tiles found in Windows Phone and Windows 8.1.
Microsoft described it as "a Windows 8.1 app that can integrate your entire Line of Business (LOB) stack into a single, modern, touch-based experience. The concept behind Apportals is simple – introduce the same nested folder structure common in a desktop OS to the modern mobile OS. The result is a UI experience that allows the user to drill from the Start screen (composed of Live Tiles) to another mini-Start screen (composed of Grid Tiles). And best of all, because an Apportal is built out of the OS, everything that runs on Windows runs in a Windows Apportal, including Desktop Windows 7 Applications; Modern Windows 8 Apps; and Web Applications."
There's a search feature as well, but it's way too different if you compare it with Windows 7. Rod Trent of Windows IT Pro notes that users don't use it too often because of their traditional habit of using the Start Menu. Apportals looks promising as users can group similar apps in a tile, which opens up a new screen showing all the related apps. However, it's for business users only -- they should make it available for regular users as well. It works with Windows 8 apps as well as desktop Windows 7 apps. Businesses can create their own Windows Apportals, or they can get in touch with the software giant or any third party to create it for them.
Microsoft will showcase this new technology at WPC 2014, so those of you who are attending the event can get a first look at how it works. You can take a look at it in action below.