Windows 8 may have launched less than half a year ago, but Microsoft is already working on new versions of its flagship operating system, code-named Windows Blue. And as usual, it hasn’t taken long for leaked copies of Microsoft’s pre-release software to hit the internet.

A user at Polish site WinForum has posted pictures showing off a development build of Windows which looks a lot like Windows 8… but which includes many small changes.

Windows Blue leak

Here are a few of the new features that appear to be wrapped into this build:

  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Option for smaller live tiles on the Start Screen
  • New snapping option for Windows 8 apps which lets you view two apps side-by-side, with each app taking 50 percent of the display
  • New clock and calculator apps

You can find more pictures at WinForum. If you spot any more new features, let us know in the comments.

via The Verge 

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17 replies on “Pre-release build of Windows Blue (next-gen Windows) leaked”

  1. I hope Windows Blue lets you turn off the screen without going into Connected Standby. Seems like all Clover Trail tablets have this “feature.”

    I wonder why MS didn’t consider that people with Connected Standby capable devices would want to turn off the screen and still have desktop apps continue to run until the specified idle period to determine when to go into Connected Standby.

  2. Are we going to get LTS releases? Windows 8 LTS, Windows 8 Blue, Windows 8 White Windows 8 Red, Windows 9 LTS?

    Maybe we’ll get rolling releases where who knows when major changes will come.

  3. I hope there is A LOT MORE to this just then just these superficial changes, especially if MS is going to ask users to pay.

    As someone who deals with customer’s supporting technology, IT/tech nerds are probably about 75% hating it, 25% loving it, but end users have been complaining en masse.

    Since I do web dev, I have to explain to people “switch IE10 to “desktop mode” and then magically things work.

    While I love the new “guts” of win8 (the speedier and more robust items like task man, file copy, boot,suspend, etc) The “modern” UI still feels a bit clunky on non-touch productivity machines.

    1. Gaming is usually not effected by changes to the OS most of the time. Since, aside from supporting standards like OpenGL, DirectX, etc. a OS mainly just needs to stay out of the way of the game running to maximize performance.

      Most optimizations is actually for the drivers in most cases and the game itself being optimized to run the best with given hardware, like between Nvidia and AMD graphic cards, etc.

      Though, having the system run more efficiently can help free up resources and the fewer bugs, etc will make gaming at least more stable.

    2. Hope not. New OS upgrades often break compatibility for existing games. Same goes for any non-simple Windows software. As usual, who knows when updates to support the new OS will come out. This Windows Blue may come out when games and software I use still aren’t stable on Windows 8.

  4. I’m just not getting why they call those Live Tiles: I see big, squarish, … and dead… icons.

    1. The point of the Modern UI is to emphasis information instead of graphics, thus the Tiles present information, usually as text, rather than imagery like icons do.

      While live tiles present information in a continuous stream. For example, the news live tile will continuously cycle the latest headlines. So they’re constantly changing and presenting new information as it becomes available… Similar to say Android widgets for example.

      So think of them as more like message signs, while each tile can be square or rectangular… with the newer option of sizing them as well, which is something that can already be done for Windows Phone 8 but seems they’re adding that to Windows 8 as well.

    2. You don’t know what a tiled surface is? Have you used Windows 8? Those tiles show live information by changing their content. Both the text and image.

      1. That’s the theory. In practice, look at the screen shots: Icons. 2 Tiles out of 24 are vaguely “live”

    1. They’re basically adopting the same business model as Apple does for OSX. The benefit for paying being accelerated and pretty much guaranteed roll out, so expect a new update annually at about the same time.

      Also, these updates will encompass more than what the previous Service Pack Releases did and gives MS more room to make significant changes to the OS without saving them for W9 for example that we would then have to wait a couple of years to come out…

      1. People don’t like change especially if they missed out on the initial sales and paid hundreds of dollars for Windows 8 then have to pay for this. These anti-change people (ie. Windows 8 haters or IT departments) probably won’t like UI changes every year either.

        Also, if you’re using Windows then you probably don’t care that OS X had these paid yearly updates. If they did, they’ll have a Mac already. Maybe they will in a year or so.

        I don’t know if this will be a net benefit to MS.

        1. The upgrade fee is small and lots of people just want UI improvements, which it seems they’ll be providing… So we’ll see if this will be a change people can get behind or cause more hate otherwise…

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