The first screenshots of a pre-beta build of Windows 8 leaked this week.
The screenshots appear to show the customization features of what will become Windows 8 beta. Users will be able to activate a color slider, allowing them to pick a custom background color for the Start Screen. The Windows 8 Developer Preview does not allow this and it’s a highly requested feature for Windows 8. The colour slider (see below) is a simple and quick picker that appears to provide a number of darker colors for the Start Screen. Winunleaked, who published the screenshots, notes that the Start Screen personlization will let users change the color scheme but not the background picture.
A similar picture shows off the summary view that allows users to search for applications. In the screenshot (see below) a purple color is enabled on the Start Screen of Windows 8. The summary view allows Windows 8 users to group applications and live tiles into groups. Microsoft demonstrated the feature at its BUILD developer conference in September but the Semantic View and Semantic Zoom features were not made available in the Windows 8 developer preview.
Microsoft recently detailed its Windows 8 Live Notifications service. The service will power the Live Tiles in Windows 8′s Start Screen and works off the foundations of the company’s Windows Live Messenger service. Windows 8′s notifications and live tiles form the replacement of the typical gadgets built into Windows Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft has been working hard to ensure that it can allow hundreds of live tiles and not impact of system performance. The tiles reach beyond badges and text and provide real time information and images. Microsoft has built its Windows Push Notification Service (WNS) on top of the Windows Live Messenger service architecture.
Microsoft is expected to deliver a beta copy of Windows 8 at CES 2012 with a Release Candidate at the unannounced MIX 2012 conference. The big OEMs, including HP, Dell and ASUS are all reportedly preparing Windows 8 tablets for Q3 2012. Microsoft is expected to unveil the final version of Windows 8 during the Summer months of 2012 in preparation for a holiday push of new tablets and form factors.
Latest Windows 8 news:
- Microsoft details its Windows 8 live tiles service
- Stephen Elop hints at Nokia Windows 8 tablets
- Businesses already preparing Windows 8 upgrade plans
- Acer predicts that Microsoft will “re-rise” against iPad with Windows 8
- ASUS also preparing Windows 8 tablet for Q3 2012
- HP planning to stick with Microsoft for Windows 8 tablets
- Windows Media Center returns to Windows 8 in build 8141
- New Windows 8 activation protection causing headaches for PC makers
- Microsoft details its Windows 8 portrait support for tablets