Windows 8 lock screen

Update: Microsoft has officially launched a developer preview version of Windows 8.

Microsoft is expected to show off Windows 8 at the Build developer conference today, and there’s a chance we might see one of the first Windows 8 tablet computers as well. But before the event has even begun, a few new pictures of Microsoft’s next-generation Windows operating system are making the rounds.

The folks at Tom’s Hardware spotted a new Start Menu which is even more stripped down than the Windows 7 menu. There are menu options for search, share, devices, and settings, and that’s about it. The menu may be customizable though.

Windows 8 Start Menu

Meanwhile reddit member lboncenne found some new details about security features in Windows 8, as well as some previously unseen screenshots at a Spanish website. The article has since been removed, but the photos are still available.

The pictures show a new, simple looking lock screen that gives you the date and time, calendar appoinments, and information about incoming messages, WiFi and battery status at a glance. It’s likely that this start screen is designed specifically for tablets and other devices with a touchscreen interface. You might never see it if you’re using a typical desktop or laptop computer.

The same goes for the start screen, which we’ve seen before. It features a series of tiles which give you icons for launching applications and snippets of information from RSS feeds, your email inbox, weather forecast, or other items.

Windows 8 task manager

Microsoft has also apparently given the Windows task manager an overhaul. Gone are the black and green graphs showing CPU and memory usage, and they’re replaced with a nice big blue and white graph. The Applications tab also seems to be gone, with Processes and Performance tabs showing up first in the list. There’s also a new tab called App History and another called Startup.

lboncenne also reports that there will be a new System Refresh tool that lets you reinstall the operating system while preserving files and settings on your computer, and a new Secure Boot feature to help protect your machine from malware.

It’s likely we’ll learn a lot more about Windows 8 when Microsoft shows off the operating system to developers later today.

via Business Insider

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