March 25, 2013
Leaked Version Of Windows Blue Offers More Confuguration Options
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Microsoft Windows loyalists have been keeping their ears to the ground for an update on the operating system known internally as Windows Blue. The upgrade is allegedly meant to correct many issues within the latest version of Windows, Windows 8. Blue is also expected to roll out across all Windows platforms, including Windows Phone, Windows RT, Windows Server and even SkyDrive and Outlook.com.
Now, a Polish tech blog called WinForum is claiming that Windows Blue has been leaked, giving users a sneak peak as to what they can expect in the next version of Windows.
So far, it appears that Blue will bring the ability to change the size of Live Tiles on the Start Screen as well as make some of the targets more touch-friendly.
Dubbed Build 9364, this update to Windows 8 is also the first to mention a new version of Microsoft´s browser, Internet Explorer 11.
According to Windows superuser Paul Thurrot, most of the changes seen in this leaked build of Windows are graphical and meant to give the user more configuration options. After looking at the screenshots, Thurrot calls the leaked build “a spit polish update to what´s already available in Windows 8, not a mulligan re-do.”
The leaked version sports a newer looking Start Screen with larger and smaller live tiles. The largest of these Live Tiles are the most notable and twice the size of the largest tiles currently available. Though the size of the tiles is more adjustable than before, users are still unable to change the colors of individual tiles.
This leaked version of Blue also appears to give users more control over the look of their Start Screen. In the current available build of Windows 8, users must navigate to Settings to change the way their Start Screen looks. In this leaked build, users are able to personalize their Start Screen directly — a nice touch considering the steep learning curve presented by Windows 8.
This personalized option is located in a new “Charms Bar” on the Start Screen. Microsoft may also be placing a new option to the charm bars seen across the OS called “Play.” This charm allegedly allows users to share files and documents with other applications. Apple´s OS X 10.8, or Mountain Lion, brought similar sharing features to their Preview feature.
These extra features added to the Window´s Start Screen could make life much easier for those using Windows 8 on a tablet. Currently, making changes to the look and theme of Windows 8 involves diving into the desktop version of the Settings panel.
This leaked version of Blue also hints at a new Snap View, Microsoft´s feature which allows two apps to be “snapped” side by side so that each takes up 50 percent of the screen. According to the screen shots, Snap View will now allow four different programs to be snapped together, making a four-paneled grid out of the screen.
The leak also suggests that users may be able to make a few tweaks to SkyDrive via a Charm from the start screen.
Many of these improvements seem aimed at tablet and touch users, and a number of touch gestures have been added. For instance, users can now swipe up from the start screen to bring up a list of apps. In desktop mode, a swipe upwards or downwards will pull up a desktop app bar which gives users the option to snap the apps together as well as other settings options.
Though the Blue build has been leaked and is available for download, many of those writing about it in the blogosphere are making assumptions based on screenshots. Furthermore, this is presumably a leaked internal build, meaning that any number of these features may or may not make it into the upcoming official version of Windows that´s presented to consumers.