The mystery of Windows Blue unfolds itself a bit. A developer build of Windows Blue has been leaked on the Internet. We had come to know about Windows Blue from the job postings on the Microsoft’s job site. But nothing is clear yet. The rumors are that Windows Blue will be an update to Windows 8 rather than the next version of Windows.
Most probably, the next version of Windows will be Windows 9. The leaked Windows Blue Build 9364 comes as a 2.63 GB ISO image. The exact image name is 9364.0.FBL_PARTNER_OUT13.130315-2105_X86FRE_CLIENT and it is a 32-bit installation of Windows Blue.
The host of new options included in the Metro interface PC Settings indicate that Microsoft is trying to kill the Desktop interface all together. Hopefully the Desktop will remain alive in Windows Blue but it will have less value in comparison to the Metro interface. All the options will be available in the Metro interface PC Settings instead of the desktop control panel.
The biggest surprise of Windows Blue comes with the addition of Internet Explorer 11. Whenever it is released, Windows Blue will come with IE11. IE11 seems to be unchanged as of now but it may get a major overhaul in the coming development iterations. The only major feature enhancement of IE11 is the synchronization of tabs with different devices.
With Windows Blue, the users will be able to make use of app snapping feature which can display apps along side Desktop. Currently, only one app can be displayed along side the Desktop which takes about 2/3rd of the screen area. Windows Blue also gives an option to snap two Metro apps side by side.
Microsoft is experimenting with different sized tiles on the Start Screen. Windows Blue comes with a mini-tile option which is very similar to Windows Phone 8. This will let the users add more tiles to a smaller area instead of aligning the standard tiles and making the start screen scroll longer.
There is a feature in Windows Phone which allows SkyDrive to upload and synchronize all the photos, contacts and other settings and data to the cloud. This makes sure that the user’s data remains safe and automatically backed up even if the phone gets lost. Microsoft is trying to integrate the same feature in Windows Blue. SkyDrive will be more tightly integrated in Windows Blue.
The following items may be synched to the cloud and accessed on any other Windows Blue computer:
- Picture Password
- File History
- Input Personalization
- Explorer Quick Links
- App Secondary Tiles
- Installed Apps
While the Milestone 1 of Windows Blue has just been leaked, the rumors are that Microsoft will be releasing a public preview of Windows Blue in August. The next milestones may be available legally from Microsoft even in June this year.
Although you can easily search and download the first milestone of Windows Blue using torrents, it is never recommended. This is because the store of the milestone build will not work and since it is not a stable build, it may contain many bugs and shortcomings. You may download and install it on a test machine for testing only.
While it’s too early to say anything about this update, but one thing is clear that Windows is certainly moving towards the new Metro or Modern app system. Ultimately the Desktop will be killed completely in favor of the new interface. Some people will still be thinking of the good old start menu to be added to Windows Blue by default. But Microsoft will definitely promote the Start Screen instead of the start menu.
What is you take on Windows Blue? What features will you love to see in the next version of Windows?