A leaked 32-bit Windows Blue Build 9364 appeared on the web is indeed a real version.
The setup.exe along with the entire setup screenshots were also posted, and reveals that the Windows Blue will support a smaller tile size, just like in Windows Phone 8.
In addition, metro apps can be run side by side evenly now, instead of having one of the apps in a smaller size.
The new personalization and larger tile sizes are a surprise welcome changes.
Below are some screen shots, check the source to see more:
Update 03/25: Windows Blue leaked setup is a 2.63 GB ISO image 9364.0.FBL_PARTNER_OUT13.130315-2105_X86FRE_CL.
Stephen Chapman of MSFTKitchen did a teardown of the leaked bits. He discovered mentions of the following Windows Blue SKUs that are apparently in the works:
- Windows Blue RT
- Windows Blue Personal
- Windows Blue Professional
- Windows Blue Standard Server
- Windows Blue Enterprise Server
- Windows Blue Datacenter Server
- Windows Blue Web Server
In addition, it also will be getting more features that will make it more usable on touch tablets, such as the ability to customize the Start Screen without having to use the Desktop Control Panel. Enhanced Start Screen with support for new gestures, so now you can easily browse the installed apps by swiping up and down.
And, a new snap view which allows two windows to be snapped side-by-side so that each takes up half the size of the display, as well as an option to have four apps displayed simultaneously.
It appears that Blue will come with a reworked Start Screen, so no Start button will be introduced, even though lots of Windows 8 users have requested it.
Improvement to Charms bar now including a play option for the Devices menu. Additionally, Share Charm very likely to get a feature that would allow users to quickly take a screenshot and share it with friends using the installed apps.
Windows Blue also allows 3 or 4 apps to be snapped on screen at one time, as well as 2 or more metro apps running across multiple screens!
Also, the modern Control Panel in Windows Blue now features organized categories--among other is a "Display category," that allow users to adjust the Power/Sleep settings for their device.
You can easily adjust when the screen will turn off and when the computer will sleep.
And, the Display tab lets you identify your displays and adjust the resolutions of those displays. You can even adjust the screen orientation, whether you want it on landscape or portrait mode. Users can even connect to a wireless display.
Additionlly, users under the Apps category in the modern Control Panel, can now see the installed apps and how much storage space they take on the device. You can even see how much storage space is available.
Microsoft might also be working on some new features for the SkyDrive client that would allow users to automatically upload files and create backups using the cloud storage service.
Just like we told you a few hours ago, an early build of Windows Blue got leaked on the Internet, thus allowing users to try out the first Windows 8 major refresh a lot sooner.
Microsoft is also developing a Metro-based File Manager, as a picture posted shows what it seems to be:
And, for Internet Explorer 11, it might include a tab syncing option that would allow users to start a browsing session on a specific Windows Blue computer and continue it elsewhere, with IE11 automatically retrieving the loaded websites.
Additionally, IE11 is also packed with a "Like Gecko" command that emulates Firefox and forces the website to display the version usually loaded for Mozilla's browser.
Windows Blue will also come with several new pre-installed Modern apps developed by Microsoft such as: a new calculator, an audio recorder, an alarm utility and a Movie Moments app that could actually be a Metro version of the popular Windows Movie Maker.
Another new setting that Microsoft added to Windows Blue helping users to automatically update their modern Apps from the Windows Store with just a flick of a setting.
Update 03/28: Couple of more features of Windows Blue come to light--that include for example a quick Windows Blue registry change can enable desktop users of Internet Explorer 11 who have touchscreens to swipe back and forth on the screen to go through the browser's history.
Another feature discovered is the "Start screen sync," that when signed into two Windows 8 PCs with one Microsoft account should allow Windows 8 owners to replicate their Start screen on another PC.
Update 03/26: New in the Control Panel is a setting that allows a user to easily update apps automatically, without having to open up Windows Store and see an "update" link at the top-right of their screen anymore.
Update 03/30:The leaked ISO also revealed a Movie Moments app, which is most likely a Metro version of the Windows Movie Maker.
In addition to tab syncing and a download manager, Microsoft is also planning to bring WebGL support in the upcoming version of Internet Explorer 11.
Web developer Francois Remy has come across some evidence that WebGL support could be part of the IE11, "I didn't get webgl working, even by trying using iesl, hlsl and other combinations. So, it seems like WebGL interfaces are defined but not functional at this time," he wrote.
Last but not least, Microsoft is also working on some secret options, such as a slide to unlock shutdown utility for the lock screen, plus several option interface customization settings.
Here is a video showing the upcoming Blue in action:
Here is another video, showing all the above updates:
Update 03/30: Another video leaks, this time revealing details about both the Start Screen and the pre-installed apps. As you can see in this clip, Windows Blue has been installed on a touch-capable device, which confirms that Microsoft plans to bring the upgrade to all Windows 8 platforms.
Update 03/30: While the big focus remain on the user-interface releated changes, the under-the-hood changes have gotten less coverage.
But over on ITWorld.com, Sandro Villinger has shared a few of his findings that include mentioning of "BaseFS" buried in the Windows Blue code--"an internal concept that has to do with shared functionality between the different file systems."
Villinger's finding even revealing "Minkernel," "a minimal set of functionality that is shared across the different Windows kernels that run on x86, ARM, Windows Phone and Xbox," explains the sources, ZDNet quotes.
"MinKernel is the one base-level implementation on top of which these platforms are built, the same way that BaseFS may be the base-level file system that is common across different platforms."
Villinger also discovered some references to a Modern/Windows Store version of the Windows Defender antivirus app that Microsoft bundled with Windows 8 and Windows RT.
According to him "3G/4G tethering support may be built into Blue."
In addition, Ed Bott has also discovered a change in Microsoft's certification guidelines for Windows 8 hardware that clear the path for 7- and 8-inch tablets.
According to sources familiar with Microsoft plans, the company may launch a public beta of Windows Blue in June (with the stable release in August), a beta version of Windows 9 in January 2014, while the stable build might go on sale in November 2014.
Head back to Winfourm for more screenshots.
Update 04/02: Microsoft supposedly have decided on the final name for Windows Blue--that will be called as "Windows 8.1."
According to a tipster, the top-level branding will be "Windows 8" when Microsoft releases the 8.1 update -- similar to the way that Microsoft's Windows Phone officials talked about the "Mango" (Windows Phone 7.5) release as part of the Windows Phone 7 family, reports ZDNet quoting a source.
The source further said, that Microsoft plans to refer to the Blue update for Windows RT as "Windows RT 8.1."
Internet Explorer Administration Kit 10 (IEAK 10) now supports building custom Internet Explorer 10 packages for Windows 7 and Windows 8. IEAK 10 simplifies the creation, deployment, and management of customized Internet Explorer 10 packages.
You can download IEAK 10 from http://ieak.microsoft.com.
IEAK 10 is now available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.
Microsoft has launched Windows 8 Tablet Avatar Prop for download. The prop includes some fun moves, music demo and a demo of the kickstand and keyboard.
Copy and paste this link into an e-mail or instant message.
The City of NY asked the tech and design community to makeover of NYC payphones to make the city more accessible, safer, and better informed.
To this end, earlier this year, Mayor Bloomberg launched a competition aimed at reinventing the 11,000 or so phone booths that still exist within NYC. Later, a couple weeks ago the city posted the names of six finalists on its tumblr site.
In response, Control Group and Titan partnered to create NYC I/O-- the transformation of the corner payphone into a digital node that will usher in a new era of The Responsive City.