Windows 8 is shaping up to be quite a revolutionary step for Microsoft, as it attempts to keep Windows relevant in a world that appears to be slowly falling out of love with the personal computer in favour of smartphones, tablets and the like.
Like the Windows 8 UX Pack before it, Pulmon offers users a sneak preview of how certain features in Windows 8 will look and work. In Pulmon’s case it simply provides an example of how the Metro interface will work, which highlights beautifully how Windows 8 is being built to run on a wide variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets as well as netbooks and desktops.
The download rather annoyingly ships in RAR format, meaning you’ll need a suitable compression tool to access it – try IZArc2Go for a portable solution. Once extracted, double-click pulmon.exe to launch the program - that's right, no installation required. The main configuration screen will appear, divided into two: Add Tiles and Remove Tiles. Click one of the tiles and it’ll automatically appear on-screen and move to the Remove Tiles section.
Tiles can be moved around screen and interacted with – in most cases they consist of information, a series of links or shortcuts to various other system functions. The program is still in beta, which means it’s just as likely to crash as to respond favourably when you attempt to interact with it – click Continue if this happens to prevent the whole thing grinding to a halt.
By default Pulmon is set to start with Windows – click Settings to change this behaviour if you’re simply experimenting. Settings is also where you'll see an option to view the icons in full-screen, which basically shows them in isolation to the rest of your desktop - press [F1] or right-click to exit.
When you’re done, simply close the program – to remove it, just delete the folder (making sure you’ve visited the Settings dialog to disable it from starting with Windows first). Further updates - with additional tiles - are promised.
A neat and unfussy way to see how the Metro look will change the face of Windows.