Microsoft discuss the process of efficiently updating live tiles

You can read it in full here. Microsoft’s problem is that if you add a large number of ‘always on’ applications that interact with data taken from the Internet to your mobile computer, it will potentially negatively impact the battery life of the device. Windows 8 obviously cannot afford to have low battery life or run inefficiently. Their goal, according to the post, is to “allow hundreds of live tiles without degrading performance,” while “achieving real-time delivery so delivering ‘instant messages’ is instant.” Here’s what Microsoft is doing about it:

Our solution was to build a data-driven model. This means that a developer can express their tile using a set of predefined properties and templates, in this case, using an XML schema. The XML tile data is then sent to the Windows Push Notification Service (WNS) via a simple HTTP POST and then we take care of the rest. All the code for connecting, retrying, authentication, caching, rendering, error handling, etc. is done in a uniform and power-efficient way.
In order to handle the push notifications that Windows 8 has to handle, Microsoft built something called the ‘Windows Push Notification Service (WNS)’ . Microsoft has tapped the Live Messenger architecture for WNS. They discuss performance enhancements in full in the post and it’s a fascinating read. Let’s hope it’s as good as they say it will be.]]>

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