Windows Blue Build Leaked, Produces Screens, Joy

A build of the next Windows 8 update, aka "Windows Blue", has managed to find its way online, version 6.3.9364 in fact, and provides some surprises that current users will find when the incremental update supposedly launches later this year. One of these is the removal of the File Recovery option that was introduced in Windows 7.

According to gHacks.net, this new update doesn't provide a file recovery option, but rather forces users to use the refresh menu instead. Unfortunately, this doesn't return the platform to a previous saved state, but instead performs a clear installation while retaining installed apps and personal information.

Current users of Windows 8 still have access to the File Recovery option, but it takes a little digging to find it. It's located in the Control Panel under "All Control Panel Items" and allows users to back up their data to an external drive. This supposedly isn't in the next release at all.

Another "hands-on" report claims that Microsoft has pushed most of the PC settings controls from the desktop to the new Modern UI overlay. These include settings for SkyDrive, Network, Apps, Accounts, Update and Recovery, Time & Language, and others. "If you were looking for any further proof of the desktop being eased out going forward, look no further than this," said Paul Thurrott.

The leaked update also reveals a handful of new apps including Alarms, Calculator, Movie Moments and Sound Recorder. There's also a new updated Snap mode that allows users to open two apps side by side, each one consuming half the screen – currently only one takes up 75-percent of the screen. Snap may even accommodate up to four at a time.

Also seen in this build is the ability to manipulate the size and arrangement of tiles, and to name Start Screen groups without going into semantic zoom mode. The update even provides the ability to customize the desktop's background and color schemes directly from the blocky Modern UI.

"[Windows Blue is] exactly what you should have expected, a spit polish update to what’s already available in Windows 8, not a mulligan re-do," Thurrott adds. What hasn't changed, he points out, is the setup procedure although the theme color picker has been altered just slightly. The desktop also looks the same, he said, with "ominous pre-release warnings."

The leaked "Windows Blue" build reveals that Internet Explorer 11 is in the works, version 11.0.9364.0 in this release, seemingly right after Microsoft released a version Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 users. To see a full gallery of screens taken from the Windows Blue leak -- including a hint of Internet Explorer 11 -- head here.

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  • internetlad
    Joy? I figured it would be a screenshot of a start button.

    Honestly I don't care much, but everybody else seems to shit in their pants over the idea of not having a start button.
    26
  • jhansonxi
    mapesdhsI'd be intrigued to know just what proportion of Win7 users on desktops are determined to stickwith Win7.
    I wonder if M$ tracks statistics during Win8 updates of how many users have third-party Start Menu replacements installed.
    20
  • signothorn
    *snores*
    18
  • Other Comments
  • signothorn
    *snores*
    18
  • mapesdhs
    I'd be intrigued to know just what proportion of Win7 users on desktops are determined to stick
    with Win7. Easy for enthusiasts on a site like toms to espouse the virtues of Win7 and be quite
    vocal about leaving Win8 alone, but how typical is that more widely? Kevin, does anyone know?
    I'm certainly sticking with Win7; I use a desktop with a 24" IPS, not an iScreen, etc. :)

    It's a pity MS didn't split Win7 into 2 different branches, one for desktops, the other for mobile,
    netbook, tablet, etc. That would have garnered a lot more support IMO, and it would mean extras
    for desktops could be built upon in the future (such as support for very large resolutions & displays)
    instead of being excluded completely because such concepts aren't relevant on portable devices.
    Oh well, maybe MS will change tack in the future, but looks like for the moment they're sticking
    with the move away from the desktop.

    Ian.
    3
  • jhansonxi
    mapesdhsI'd be intrigued to know just what proportion of Win7 users on desktops are determined to stickwith Win7.
    I wonder if M$ tracks statistics during Win8 updates of how many users have third-party Start Menu replacements installed.
    20