So as I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been playing the Windows 8 version of Minesweeper for the past couple of days. Minesweeper is “free.” What I mean is, you don’t have to pay in dollars, you have to pay in time. Every so often you’ll have to sit through a 20 second video ad.
Normally I have no problem with this kind of system; developers have to make money somehow, right? My problem with Minesweeper is the same problem I’ve had with Hulu in the past. There’s no variety in the ads. No one likes to sit through ads, but having to sit through the same exact ad over and over makes it worse, at least to me (I’ve seen two ads so far, a trailer for Life of Pi and some car commercial).
So normally what I’d do is switch my focus to something else while the ad plays. Windows 8 makes this challenging, though not impossible. Minesweeper is a “Windows Store App” which means it normally occupies your full screen. Aha! But I have two monitors! Nope, they’ve thought of that too. As soon as I move my focus to a desktop (ie, regular old Windows) application on the other monitor, playback of the video ad in Minesweeper freezes.
There is a solution of sorts, though. You can run two Windows Store Apps at once on the same monitor by ‘snapping’ them to one side. Use Windows+. to snap Minesweeper to the right side, fire up something else on the left (I generally go with mail), and let the video play over there in the right half of the window while you catch up on your email in the left half.
I’ve yet to discover a way to run two Windows Store Apps concurrently, one on each monitor. I’m not sure it’s possible but if anyone knows a way, I’d appreciate hearing about it!