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Fresh Windows 8.1 Leak Reveals Even More New Features

By - Source: Ubergizmo | B 24 comments

The Kiosk mode has been renamed to Assigned Access, and more.

As seen last week, we've already covered three leaked builds of Windows 8.1: build 9364 which was unleashed back in March, and the more recent build 9369 and build 9374. The latest "leak" is build 9385 and I'm still getting a "we don’t comment on/around rumors and speculation as a rule of thumb" comment from the Redmond company. Seriously, folks, the cat is out of the bag already.

Images of build 9385 appeared on Friday, and breaks away from the intervals of five pattern seen with the prior releases. This build was reportedly being distributed to Partners of the Microsoft Partner Network just a week prior to the leaked screens, and compiled on April 15. One screenshot shows the downloader grabbing the 3.61 GB ISO from an unnamed source.

As of Tuesday, the ISO reportedly still hasn't shown up on file sharing websites. However a fresh batch of screenshots has appeared, hinting at better f12 developer tools for Internet Explorer 11 including an entirely new interface for a variety of options like debugging.

Previously in build 9374, a "Kiosk" mode was uncovered that allows the device user profile to be locked down to a single app – this is now called "Assigned Access". Another change in the new build is app settings that allow users to choose an app that can show alarms on the lock screen, meaning there's a good chance app-specific notifications and alarms will flash on a locked device similar to the way messages surface on Apple's iOS. So far existing Windows 8 apps do not support this feature.

What still hasn't made an obvious appearance, despite recent reports, is the revamped Start button for desktop users that only leads to the Start screen, and the boot to desktop mode. Microsoft is reportedly still working on that, and could be in place by the time the Redmond company supposedly launches the Public Preview during BUILD 2013 in June.

As previously stated, Windows "Blue" isn't specifically tied to Windows 8.1, but is the codename used for Microsoft's new consumer-based annual update model spanning Windows RT, Windows Server, Windows Phone, Windows 8 Pro and likely Xbox. The blanket update is expected to begin this fall, and for desktop users, may initially cost $40 as was the upgrade to Windows 8 in the same timeframe during 2012.

This is the fourth Windows 8.1 leak since March, and shows that either Microsoft and its partners have become sloppy in keeping the code secure, that OEMs are slipping builds to show that progress to improve the platform is being made, or that Microsoft itself is letting builds sneak out on purpose to keep an interest in Windows 8 in check. Given the industry and retail response to the current version of Windows 8, the latter option seems highly possible (aka speculation).

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    catfishtx , May 1, 2013 6:34 AM
    I can't remember if it was in Win95 or Win98, but during the installation process, the Installer gave you an option of Normal, Mobile, or Minimal install, depending on your hardware. This option needs to come back. Let us pick our install method; Desktop (with or without Touch), Notebook (with or without Touch), or Tablet. Come on Microsoft, I am daring you to win my retail dollars!
  • 17 Hide
    Dean Kellham , May 1, 2013 6:43 AM
    Quote:
    I can't remember if it was in Win95 or Win98, but during the installation process, the Installer gave you an option of Normal, Mobile, or Minimal install, depending on your hardware. This option needs to come back. Let us pick our install method; Desktop (with or without Touch), Notebook (with or without Touch), or Tablet. Come on Microsoft, I am daring you to win my retail dollars!


    I don't know why we ever lost this idea. It seems Microsoft don't want to admit that different form factors benefit from different interfaces and a one-size-fits-all approach is always going to annoy at least half of the user-base. I would love to see full windowed metro apps and a more mouse-focussed launcher approach (not necessarily the Start Menu) as an option for traditional PCs, with the full-screen and snap "multi-tasking" solutions, and full-screen Start Screen, being offered under a tablet / mobile package. It's the same elsewhere- OS X and iOS are distinct. The guys at Canonical are working on a unified OS that scales it's UI dependent on hardware- Ubuntu phone UI becomes tablet when plugged into a larger display, and becomes full desktop UI when plugged into a keyboard & mouse setup. It seems the only ones who seem to think they can ignore mouse-precision and insist everyone only ever needs one and a half apps on screen at any given moment is Microsoft.
  • 13 Hide
    jessterman21 , May 1, 2013 6:48 AM
    Make a good decision for once, M$ - release it as a service pack.
Other Comments
    Display all 24 comments.
  • -1 Hide
    nomnom9608 , May 1, 2013 6:32 AM
    I think it's ridiculous that we have to pay for this.
  • 6 Hide
    happyballz , May 1, 2013 6:33 AM
    Hardly any new features that would make me want to install Windows 8 since the beta.
    Get rid of all the tablet bloat-ware and then we will talk.
  • 24 Hide
    catfishtx , May 1, 2013 6:34 AM
    I can't remember if it was in Win95 or Win98, but during the installation process, the Installer gave you an option of Normal, Mobile, or Minimal install, depending on your hardware. This option needs to come back. Let us pick our install method; Desktop (with or without Touch), Notebook (with or without Touch), or Tablet. Come on Microsoft, I am daring you to win my retail dollars!
  • 11 Hide
    colinstu , May 1, 2013 6:37 AM
    Quote:
    I think it's ridiculous that we have to pay for this.


    Nobody said you had to pay/buy this.
  • 17 Hide
    Dean Kellham , May 1, 2013 6:43 AM
    Quote:
    I can't remember if it was in Win95 or Win98, but during the installation process, the Installer gave you an option of Normal, Mobile, or Minimal install, depending on your hardware. This option needs to come back. Let us pick our install method; Desktop (with or without Touch), Notebook (with or without Touch), or Tablet. Come on Microsoft, I am daring you to win my retail dollars!


    I don't know why we ever lost this idea. It seems Microsoft don't want to admit that different form factors benefit from different interfaces and a one-size-fits-all approach is always going to annoy at least half of the user-base. I would love to see full windowed metro apps and a more mouse-focussed launcher approach (not necessarily the Start Menu) as an option for traditional PCs, with the full-screen and snap "multi-tasking" solutions, and full-screen Start Screen, being offered under a tablet / mobile package. It's the same elsewhere- OS X and iOS are distinct. The guys at Canonical are working on a unified OS that scales it's UI dependent on hardware- Ubuntu phone UI becomes tablet when plugged into a larger display, and becomes full desktop UI when plugged into a keyboard & mouse setup. It seems the only ones who seem to think they can ignore mouse-precision and insist everyone only ever needs one and a half apps on screen at any given moment is Microsoft.
  • 13 Hide
    jessterman21 , May 1, 2013 6:48 AM
    Make a good decision for once, M$ - release it as a service pack.
  • -2 Hide
    JDFan , May 1, 2013 7:43 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    I think it's ridiculous that we have to pay for this.


    Nobody said you had to pay/buy this.


    Did you actually read all of the article ::

    Quote:
    The blanket update is expected to begin this fall, and for desktop users, may initially cost $40 as was the upgrade to Windows 8 in the same timeframe during 2012.


    It says that it will cost $40 for desktop users so that would tend to mean that you have to pay for it and it is not just a free update !!
  • -1 Hide
    prince_david , May 1, 2013 7:56 AM
    I just bought Windows 8 OEM I am not going to pay for this update. forget it.
  • -4 Hide
    prince_david , May 1, 2013 7:59 AM
    Actually OS X updates only cost 20$, I don't think this should cost anymore than that. If I had to I'd pay 20 but I am not going to pay 40 for this.
  • 4 Hide
    CaedenV , May 1, 2013 8:33 AM
    Quote:
    I think it's ridiculous that we have to pay for this.


    current rumors are that it will be free to those who have already paid for win8, and that the general pricing for Windows from now on will be ~$40 instead of the traditional $100-140 per release.
    Going hand in hand with this rumor is the assumption that MS will go the way of Apple and charge for a yearly feature update to the OS instead of the normal 3 year release cycle that MS has just about always done (except for XP with lasted some 6 years).
    So no, you do not have to pay for this if you have already bought it, and even if you do have to buy it the price will still be much cheaper than previous offerings. And if you like Win7 then nobody is forcing you to update to win8 yet (though my bet is that this will change with the release of the new xbox as the win8 store *should* be able to have all downloadable nextbox games)
  • -1 Hide
    CaedenV , May 1, 2013 8:39 AM
    Quote:
    Hardly any new features that would make me want to install Windows 8 since the beta.
    Get rid of all the tablet bloat-ware and then we will talk.


    Dont be dumb. Bloatware is unnecessary software or features that cause the computer to run slowly when there is no reason for it to. XP was bloatware, Vista was bloatware, even win95/98 were bloatware. All of these platforms were released and pushed the hardware of their day to the absolute limits. Win7 cut out a ton of bloat, and win8 has taken that further.

    Its perfectly fine to hate win8. Just don't be a moron in the process.
  • 0 Hide
    kickmyjiminy , May 1, 2013 8:43 AM
    The price you pay for being an early adopter.
  • 1 Hide
    albert 89 , May 1, 2013 8:47 AM
    So for $40 they rearrange the deck chairs on the win8 ship. Should be free as a way for M$ to say to its customers that they are very, very, sorry for being inconvenienced !
    But that's not the real world.
    Still gad as hell I've got my win7,
    thankyou Jesus !
  • 0 Hide
    albert 89 , May 1, 2013 8:48 AM
    So for $40 they rearrange the deck chairs on the win8 ship. Should be free as a way for M$ to say to its customers that they are very, very, sorry for being inconvenienced !
    But that's not the real world.
    Still gad as hell I've got my win7,
    thankyou Jesus !
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , May 1, 2013 9:13 AM
    Quote:
    If I had to I'd pay 20 but I am not going to pay 40 for this.

    Same for me. The only reason I gave Win8 a chance is because of the $15 very permissive upgrade promo. If I need to re-install the OS for whatever reason, I might be going back to Vista which I upgraded from. (I forgot where I put my Win8 digital download and key.)

  • 1 Hide
    hp79 , May 1, 2013 9:38 AM
    I would maybe pay $10 for this update. Okay, that's me being cheap. $15 if you guys bring back the start button and let me bypass the Win8 tile interface.
  • 2 Hide
    Avus , May 1, 2013 9:40 AM
    I am guessing the $40 is the limited upgrade deal for Windows XP/Vista/7 user, NOT for current Windows 8 users. Just like last time (from July 2012 to Jan 2013). Remember Windows 8 currently still sell for $100 and up. There are NO WAY MS dare to charge Windows 8 users to upgrade to 8.1...
  • 2 Hide
    IH8U , May 1, 2013 11:00 AM
    Polish a turd, and it's still a turd. Users will still need a 3rd party (stardock, ect...) to fix winblows 8. How's Win 8 for buisnesses? Answer 1-2% Globally (rounded up). Vista still has a higher marketshare (especially in buisness). M$ welcome to OS fail.
  • 2 Hide
    alxianthelast , May 1, 2013 12:36 PM
    hold the phone. This costs MONEY?!
  • 0 Hide
    ethanolson , May 1, 2013 3:35 PM
    I heard from a Microsoft employee point-blank that the first item out will be described as a Small Form-factor OS. He even said that it was officially called that internally.
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