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Windows Blue ISO leaks ahead of launch

Windows Blue ISO leaks ahead of launch

Microsoft's Windows Blue, the next-generation operating system due to replace Windows 8 later this year, has leaked ahead of schedule thanks to a clumsy partner.

A disk image purporting to be an early version of Windows Blue, Microsoft's upcoming operating system refresh, has leaked ahead of schedule via file-sharing sites, offering a glimpse at the company's planned direction.

Courtesy of an incautious French partner, Microsoft's next-generation Windows Blue operating system can now be downloaded and installed from a 2.63GB DVD ISO - to which we will, naturally, not be providing a link. Believed to be a feature-complete of the operating system, which heralds a claimed move to an Apple-like annual release cycle for Microsoft's Windows platform, the ISO provides confirmation of what earlier leaks have been suggesting.

First, the more important details: as claimed, the Windows Blue ISO does ship with a point-revision to the Windows Kernel, a move normally reserved for full operating system releases: Windows XP had an earlier kernel version than Windows Vista, for example, and Windows 7 incremented the kernel version again prior to the launch of Windows 8 with yet another new kernel. The inclusion of an incremented kernel version in Windows Blue marks the release as more than just Windows 8 Service Pack 1 - for all that Microsoft is thought to be releasing the software as a free upgrade for users of Windows 8.

Other changes are more aesthetic: the number of accent colours available in the personalisation options has been boosted over Windows 8, while it's now possible to alter the tile sizes on the Start screen in either direction. For touch-centric devices - Microsoft's clear target for the Modern UI - new gesture controls have been implemented, including the ability to swipe downwards to access applications quickly and easily.

The biggest change to the tile-based user interface previously known as Metro, however, comes in the form of an expansion to the rudimentary multi-tasking: rather than taking over the entire display or running in a fixed third of the screen, apps running in the Modern UI are now able to run side-by-side with each taking up half of the screen space. That might seem like a pretty basic feature to be headlining in an operating system due for release in 2013, but it marks a clear admission from Microsoft that perhaps the Modern UI is a little too streamlined for everyone's taste.

With no details offered as to the under-the-hood improvements, it remains to be seen whether Windows Blue improves upon Windows 8's performance. The leak also comes without confirmation that Windows Blue indeed marks Microsoft's move to a more rapid development cycle, offering annual updates for its operating system at a low upgrade cost - much like rival Apple does for its OS X platform.

With Microsoft expected to release a public preview of the operating system shortly, ahead of a rumoured August launch, it looks like Windows Blue is shaping up as an evolution, rather than revolution, for the company's flagship operating system.

22 Comments

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Tangster 25th March 2013, 14:58 Quote
Yay! Now I can use the reader app from metro instead of adobe acrobat. (Genuinely pleased, acrobat sucks).
kenco_uk 25th March 2013, 15:04 Quote
Sounds promising.
Marvin-HHGTTG 25th March 2013, 17:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
Yay! Now I can use the reader app from metro instead of adobe acrobat. (Genuinely pleased, acrobat sucks).

Could try one of the alternative PDF readers - I use Sumatra PDF personally.
fdbh96 25th March 2013, 17:31 Quote
"The biggest change to the tile-based user interface previously known as Metro, however, comes in the form of rudimentary multi-tasking: rather than taking over the entire display, apps running in the Modern UI are now able to run side-by-side with each taking up half of the screen space. That might seem like a pretty basic feature to be headlining in an operating system due for release in 2013, but it marks a clear admission from Microsoft that perhaps the Modern UI is a little too streamlined for everyone's taste."

Im pretty sure youve always been able to do that. The new feature is that they can run in 50/50 mode not just in thirds.
Gareth Halfacree 25th March 2013, 17:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Im pretty sure youve always been able to do that. The new feature is that they can run in 50/50 mode not just in thirds.
Oh, issat so? I'll go and correct that, ta: I was of the impression you couldn't. (I've played with Windows 8 in a VM, but haven't spent much time in the Modern interface.)
Xir 25th March 2013, 17:56 Quote
Quote:
the number of accent colours available in the personalisation options has been boosted over Windows 8
A major issue that, I believe it was a "Fight Club" quote "can I have the Icon in Blue?" Ah, yes, the stress of beeing a manager
Corky42 25th March 2013, 18:44 Quote
Quote:
That might seem like a pretty basic feature to be headlining in an operating system due for release in 2013

It all seems pretty basic TBH, was it just me that was expecting more from blu ?
Nexxo 25th March 2013, 18:55 Quote
To me it feels a lot more polished, and starting to bear some hallmarks of their "Vision of the Future" interfaces that they have been playing with.
Tangster 25th March 2013, 19:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Im pretty sure youve always been able to do that. The new feature is that they can run in 50/50 mode not just in thirds.

You can't say something like that and not tell us how!
Nexxo 25th March 2013, 19:06 Quote
Simples. Upper right corner, grab a task, drag it to the left or right border of the screen and the divider appears. Drop to the side of the divider.

EDIT: actually there are a few interesting tricks in Windows 8/RT that aren't mentioned but I've stumbled over:

- If you pinch-zoom in desktop Explorer windows, the icons resize.
- When you drag the Metro volume up and down, you don't have to keep your finger on the bar, you can move away from it. Metro then draws a line from your finger tip to the slider it controls at that moment.
- Under the Devices charm, under the printer icon name it will tell you if ink is low or printer needs attention.
fdbh96 25th March 2013, 20:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangster
You can't say something like that and not tell us how!

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/03/26/ubepadeh.jpg

What Nexxo said...

However as I mentioned, it limited to a 1 third/2 third split at the moment which is annoying as 50/50 would be far better and more useful.

I still probably won't use metro apps, and 50/50 snap has been on the desktop for ages.
XXAOSICXX 25th March 2013, 20:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Quote:
the number of accent colours available in the personalisation options has been boosted over Windows 8
A major issue that, I believe it was a "Fight Club" quote "can I have the Icon in Blue?" Ah, yes, the stress of beeing a manager

Cornflower blue, to be precise :)
Xir 26th March 2013, 09:12 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by XXAOSICXX
Cornflower blue, to be precise :)
Ahhh! I saw it in German, and couldn't find the exact quote yesterday Thx!
Corky42 26th March 2013, 11:55 Quote
I don't mean to bash 8, but i just cant hold back anymore

I just find it amazing that people are getting excited about features that have been available for a very long time before the full screen start menu.

Accent colours available in the personalisation options has been boosted, versus 16.5 million in older OS's.

Changing the size of the start screen icons, we have been able to do that for ages until 8 restricted it.

Being able to run applications with a 50/50 split, hell in previous OS's we could arrange applications in any damn way we liked :(
impar 26th March 2013, 12:09 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
I just find it amazing that people are getting excited about features that have been available for a very long time before the full screen start menu.
Ever imagined the amount of positive reactions to full resizable metro apps when that appears? :)
fdbh96 26th March 2013, 17:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
I don't mean to bash 8, but i just cant hold back anymore

I just find it amazing that people are getting excited about features that have been available for a very long time before the full screen start menu.

Accent colours available in the personalisation options has been boosted, versus 16.5 million in older OS's.

Changing the size of the start screen icons, we have been able to do that for ages until 8 restricted it.

Being able to run applications with a 50/50 split, hell in previous OS's we could arrange applications in any damn way we liked :(

Note that Im not saying that win8 is perfect its just that microsoft would probably justify with the following suggestions:

1. Youve never been able to do this (easily/well) with a tablet on windows before.

2. The start screen is not the desktop (ie the icons) its meant to replace the rather cumbersome start menu with all the clicks and so on.
rayson 27th March 2013, 22:20 Quote
there is still an insane amount of dead space which i think is being wasted. on the start menu
Nexxo 27th March 2013, 22:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
I don't mean to bash 8, but i just cant hold back anymore

I just find it amazing that people are getting excited about features that have been available for a very long time before the full screen start menu.

Accent colours available in the personalisation options has been boosted, versus 16.5 million in older OS's.

Changing the size of the start screen icons, we have been able to do that for ages until 8 restricted it.

Being able to run applications with a 50/50 split, hell in previous OS's we could arrange applications in any damn way we liked :(

Well, that's not entirely true, is it? The original Start Menu icons could be toggled between small and large; that's it. And you can still arrange desktop applications any way you want.
Quote:
Originally Posted by impar
Ever imagined the amount of positive reactions to full resizable metro apps when that appears? :)

Yeah. Although it will be exactly what you want, you'll complain that it is too late. :)
impar 27th March 2013, 23:37 Quote
Greetings!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Yeah. Although it will be exactly what you want, you'll complain that it is too late.
Apps running inside resizable windows... what an improvement!
Corky42 28th March 2013, 01:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Well, that's not entirely true, is it? The original Start Menu icons could be toggled between small and large; that's it. And you can still arrange desktop applications any way you want.

I think it maybe down to how you and i view widows 8, is the start screen a replacement for the desktop ?
It certainly take up the hole screen like the desktop does.
Or is the start screen simply a full screen start menu ?
Ergath 23rd April 2013, 11:13 Quote
Are they expecting anyone to upgrade to this, or is it just a marketing exercise for selling new devices?

I have to say that my level of meh with regards to this "new version" of Windows is unprecedented .
Tangster 23rd April 2013, 11:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ergath
Are they expecting anyone to upgrade to this, or is it just a marketing exercise for selling new devices?

I have to say that my level of meh with regards to this "new version" of Windows is unprecedented .

It's a free update. Windows blue = Windows 8.1
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