Windows 8 is launching tonight at midnight. The few thousand people who upgrade this weekend will want something to do on their new Windows 8 PCs or tablets. Skype, Hulu Plus and Google will have Windows 8 apps available at launch, but is it ever enough? Netflix obviously doesn’t think so as they will also be supporting Windows 8 day one.
Like the previously detailed Windows 8 apps, Netflix says that their app has been specifically crafted with the new operating system in mind. All previous features of Netflix will be included in the app, but there’s a number of new features in Netflix that are exclusive to the Windows 8 experience.
You can access the Netflix app on your “Start” screen without needing to go to our Web site. Many new Windows 8 devices will come with Netflix pre-installed so it’s easy to access. If you don’t see Netflix on your start screen, you can download the Netflix app from the Windows Store at no cost.
Once you’re in the Netflix application, you can browse for movies and TV shows by moving from left to right to move through the personalized genres and dive into any row by tapping (or clicking) on its name. Speaking of tapping or clicking, everything works whether you’re using your finger or a mouse & keyboard.
Windows 8 also allows some other cool, standard actions that we’re taking advantage of. For example, we have enabled a feature called “Semantic Zoom” on the “Home” area of the app so you can pinch and zoom out to see an overview of your top recommendations.
Windows 8 also lets you have two applications open at once, a feature called “Snap View.” This means that you can watch a movie or TV show on Netflix and be checking out Facebook or Twitter at the same time, for example.
While you’re roaming around the app, we realize that you may want to get back to your favorite titles. We’ve created a navigation ribbon that’s accessible in key areas in the app that provides access to the Home area, Top 10, New Releases and our main genres.
Video plays smoothly in full HD (when available). By bypassing browser plug-ins, we were able to make our video player more efficient. This results in smoother playback with less strain on your PC—and that means less fan noise and more movies on a single charge.
There was some concern that Windows 8 wouldn’t have enough apps at launch to support the Windows Store ecosystem. Those fears still persist, but it looks like Windows 8 will have all the major apps available to users at launch.
UPDATE: Netflix informed us that the Windows 8 app has been available for a few weeks now. Those with the RTM version were probably already enjoying all the streaming content. For the rest of us, Netflix will either be pre-loaded on some Windows 8 devices or available as a free download on the Windows store.