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
3/26/2013 8:32:20 AM
That may well be the case, but tablet sales are certainly not slumping, and here MS has no defence. We were trialling MS win8 tablets from HP recently. Nobody wanted them as they already have iPads and didn't want to learn something new. One of them died and wouldn't boot and had to be sent back. On both, full screen apps can be easily manipulated, but the more powerful desktop mode is unwieldy and the keyboard (which does not pop up automatically when you tap on a text field in Desktop view) just doesn't really work properly on things like Chrome because you can't see what you are typing. The icons in Chrome don't do anything when you tap on them either, and the whole experience just doesn't feel cohesive compared to what users have been using since the first iPad launched. In terms of workflow, I also question what Win8 brings to the table. Yes you can join it to a domain, Multitask properly (in desktop mode) run MS Office on it and plug in a USB device, which is kind of nice in a novelty way, but we've been using iPads for so long, that ways have been found to work around the lack of office, using third party apps like Quick Office HD and to a degree multi-tasking. True MS might have better SharePoint/Exchange integration etc, but as far as users are concerned, they can send and browse email and make minor edits of office documents already and the rest, they aren't really interested in. Only IT really got excited about them, and after spending the weekend with the device I was bored with how fiddly it was to use. I've used Windows 8 since last November and know it well on a desktop machine (whenever I need to use it, less frequently these days!)but expected its natural home to be on a tablet.
I'm not really sure what we were expecting in Windows 8, MS did about as well as they could have, but the ship has already sailed in many ways and they are massively late to the party with an imperfect product. Perhaps Surface is better to use, but speaking as an end-user and an IT professional,and considering how long it took for MS to get a competing product out of the door, this is not that impressive nor does it really give people confidence in MS and the rest of the product stack.
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls
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
"World's Smallest Chess Code" is a Cheating Novice (But Still Kind of Lovable)
January 28, 2015, 2:24 PM
Microsoft's Windows 10 Now Has "Over 2 Million" Public Testers
January 28, 2015, 9:25 AM
Quick Note: With Windows 10, the Windows Source Hits Build 10,000
January 20, 2015, 2:05 PM
Microsoft Kills "Mainstream Support" Windows 7
January 13, 2015, 1:01 PM
Windows 10's "Spartan" IE11 Variant Will Get Firefox/Chrome-Like Extensions
December 30, 2014, 1:30 PM
Cortana, Xbox App, OneDrive Apps/Settings Backup Added to Windows 10 Build
December 15, 2014, 3:43 PM
Most Popular Articles
Under the Hood: How DirectX 11.3 and 12 Will Supercharge Windows 10 Gaming
January 23, 2015, 12:34 PM
Microsoft Shows Off Latest Windows 10 Build, Preps it for Next Week Release
January 21, 2015, 2:57 PM
BlackBerry CEO Claims Devs are Violating Net Neutrality by Not Supporting BB10
January 22, 2015, 4:37 PM
2016 Cadillac CTS-V Packs 640 hp Punch with 200 mph Reach
January 23, 2015, 3:25 PM
Will Google Become America's Fifth Major Carrier?
January 22, 2015, 12:42 PM
Latest Blog Posts
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
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information