Windows Blue Build Leaks, Shows Off UI Tune-Up
March 25, 2013 11:10 AM
comment(s) - last by
Smaller live tiles, new Internet Explorer 11 browser, and multi-monitor "snap" views are among highlights
Details have already
started to trickle out
regarding Microsoft Corp.'s (
-- the somewhat ironically named (BSOD anyone?) sequel to the
coolly received Windows 8
, a refresh which sources indicate
will land later this year
. But a leak of a partner test build from earlier this month shows us the most explicit details about the
Windows 8 UI makeover
I. The Leak
The leak came courtesy of photos posted to a Polish language forum in
. The leak also fell on Microsoft CEO
Steve Ballmer's 57th birthday
. Mr. Ballmer has shaken up the Windows team after Windows 8
received mixed reviews
, with the biggest change being the departure of Windows President Steven Sinofsky. The shakeups are expected to have a sizeable influence on the end product as Microsoft moves towards a shorter schedule of releases with Windows Blue.
The leaked build -- Build 9364 -- was compiled on March 15th, and is one of the builds that Microsoft sends to certain trusted partners in the months leading up to a Windows OS or service pack launch.
The build is current 2.63 GB
II. The Features
One of the biggest changes showcased in the leaked screenshots was an expected one -- smaller live tiles. Much like Windows Phone 8, Windows Blue gives developers and customers more flexibility by allowing them to adopt a smaller/leaner footprint for seldom used apps' tiles.
Microsoft has also borrowed Windows 7's desktop "snapping" and inserted it into the Windows 8 UI to allow snapped Windows 8-style apps. The concept has been extended to allow a 4-app snapped configuration. What's more, the snap-fest can extend to up to 8 simultaneously snapped apps in a multi-monitor setup.
The screenshots also show off a series of Windows 8-style apps --alarm, sound recorder, movie moments, and calculator -- which will come pre-loaded with Blue.
And there's new style options to allow users greater flexibility in customizing the look of their Windows 8-style GUI.
The Windows 8 menu's controls have been streamlined and expanded to offer more intuitive control over hardware, uploads, networking, and other options so as to minimize the instances in which you have to return to the desktop control panel.
There's new gestures for touch users:
swipe up from the bottom -- gives a list of all apps
swipe up or down (in Desktop Mode) -- gives toolbar w/ access to Snap
Another highlight is a test build of the upcoming Internet Explorer 11. The new browser has tab syncing, presumably to sync tabs between your mobile Windows Phone Blue device and your various Windows Blue tablets/laptops/desktops.
Wrapping up the changes, there have been modifications to the "Charms" feature. There's a new option in the Share Charm, which offers a quick shareable screenshot option for use with other apps like messaging and email.
(Italian) both reported on these leaked features.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
Kinect and touch
3/26/2013 2:50:13 AM
One of the key omissions I see from nearly every argument is flexibility. The desktop essentially is a one dimensional computing world that has no future with all the stats confirming that mobile devices are the growth market with desktops stagnant. MS is doing everyone a favor by pushing its users to the next interface which is essentially a touch/kinect based one and people must be thankful that Windows 8 is that transitional phase where hopefully people will home in on this future right now. Unless Microsoft is wrong about the future then of course they will need to eat humble pie but if they are right then those cussing will hopefully remember what they said. The problem for MS is that they have quite a lot of dumbos using their systems after all as it was meant to be idiot proof. The only thing Win8 shows is there is only so far you can cocoon a bunch of idiots that you do need to break out sometimes.
RE: Kinect and touch
3/26/2013 6:55:49 PM
I think that windows 8’s introduction was always going to be difficult. It shows how the hardware and software feed off each other. They have introduced a touch centric operating system hoping for it to become main stream when a lot of the hardware still being sold doesn’t have a touch interface. The laptops that are available with a touch interface seem to command a considerable price premium over those that don’t. Many manufacturers are still introducing new models without a touch interface. Such is the delay waiting for the hardware to catch up. Touch screens for the desktop are still pretty thin on the ground and the desktop is probably where the touch interface makes the least sense. The bigger the screen the further you are likely to be from it and the scale of gestures go from single hand span to something much larger. I’m sure Microsoft has something clever planned for a PC Kinect device to overcome this but once again the hardware is not here yet. May be a small wireless touch screen mirroring the big screen would be the way to go or having a screen behind a track pad on your keyboard. Mean while I think Win8 is a transitional operating system with a bit of a split personality. If Microsoft had included the start menu it would be more so and many users would gravitate to what they know by just using the desktop. Change can be painful both for Microsoft’s bottom line and for frustrated end users having to learn a new operating system but change over time is inevitable.
"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
Job Posting Reveals Windows Phone Blue Likely to Land Holiday 2013
March 4, 2013, 1:13 PM
Microsoft Confirms "Metro" Makeover Coming With Windows Blue
February 18, 2013, 1:30 PM
CES 2013: Industry Source -- More Than 3 Out of 4 Enthusiasts Reject Windows 8
January 11, 2013, 6:48 PM
Quick Note: Start Button to Stay Dead in "Windows Blue"
December 28, 2012, 10:32 AM
Windows 8 Gets Possibly Free "Blue" Upgrade in 2013, May Split From Server Tree
November 29, 2012, 1:20 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Quick Note: Whoops, Microsoft Pushed Unwanted Windows 10 to Some Users
October 15, 2015, 9:04 PM
Quick Note: Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565 Fixes Boot Camp 6.0 Issues
October 13, 2015, 11:39 AM
Microsoft's HD-500 ("Display Dock"), the Magic Sauce Behind Continuum
October 6, 2015, 5:30 PM
Quick Note: Windows 10 Hits 110 Million Devices, VMs
October 6, 2015, 4:30 PM
Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi, IoT Devices Sees Developer Debut
August 12, 2015, 2:41 PM
Most Popular Articles
Say Goodbye to Data Plans - Sprint and T-Mobile offer Unlimited Data
August 22, 2016, 6:12 AM
2 NEW PlayStation 4 Models - Unveiling September 7th
August 23, 2016, 6:23 AM
Uber - Everyone's Autonomous Car Driver?
August 20, 2016, 6:01 AM
iPhones May Get Curved Screens Next Year
August 24, 2016, 6:45 AM
Lenovo vs. Asus vs. HP - Best Laptop Under $500.00
August 19, 2016, 4:00 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Coming Soon - Drones and Airports
Aug 24, 2016, 12:40 PM
SolarCity’s Gigafactory: A Milesone in Emerging Technology by Lily Emamian - 15 August 2016
Aug 15, 2016, 6:30 AM
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information