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Windows 8 Beta Screenshots Leaked

Two weeks ago, Microsoft confirmed that the public beta of Windows 8 will arrive in February 2012, missing the projected date by a mere month. Now a batch of leaked screens has surfaced, seemingly backing up Microsoft's release schedule by revealing the final build of Windows 8 beta -- a build which the company will supposedly sign-off with love an affection by the end of the month.

Unfortunately, this first batch only contains three screen grabs showcasing the new InstallPrep, new themes, and the new Metro-themed start page. The latter picture reveals a few pre-installed apps from the Windows Store like Reader, Weather Beta, Paint, Video, Photos, and more. The second screen showing the Themes window looks slightly different than the Windows 7 version, sporting "flattened" themes and an easier way to select a desktop background.

A separate batch of Windows 8 Beta screens can be found here. These aren't quite a colorful, merely depicting the post-Setup "out of box" experience where end-users configure personal and PC settings. First the user establishes a name for the PC and then the Start screen theme color. After that, end-users go through the motions of setting up Windows 8 on their desktop or laptop -- Windows Update, automatic updates etc. -- and then log on.

  • Swolern
    I hope 8 is going to have Kinect integration. My gaming rig is connected to my 55in HDTV and it would be great if i could navigate Windows with just hand and voice.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    Dear Tom's Hardware,

    As much as I respect this website and its news team (except Gruener), I'd like to request you to stop assuming that your audience consists of "average users" and hence stop using the word "leak" to describe what should be called a "release" instead.

    TL;DR: I don't believe that Apple, MS, Google and others are dumb enough to have these "leaks" all the time. Use the correct terminology.

    Sincerely,

    amk-aka-phantom
    Reply
  • fonzy
    Will it have a normal interface for desktops like windows/XP? I don't think I could get used to that.
    Reply
  • soccerdocks
    fonzyWill it have a normal interface for desktops like windows/XP? I don't think I could get used to that.
    Yes, it has that.
    Reply
  • alidan
    amk-aka-phantomDear Tom's Hardware,As much as I respect this website and its news team (except Gruener), I'd like to request you to stop assuming that your audience consists of "average users" and hence stop using the word "leak" to describe what should be called a "release" instead.TL;DR: I don't believe that Apple, MS, Google and others are dumb enough to have these "leaks" all the time. Use the correct terminology.Sincerely, amk-aka-phantom
    a leak usualy comes from someone inside who wants to get something out, possibly didn't know, and or it was given to someone and they weren't suppose to release it ever/if at all, not till a certain date.

    what you could think, more than release, is someone broke an nda and got these out, as thats the most likely.

    rumor leaks though, with nothing to back them up, are just rumors.

    and so you also know, the reason these kind of things never get pulled/dont get pulled, is because they are treated as rumors by most, and most of the time people think its fake, if it gets pulled... well... we than know for a fact it was real.

    point being, for minor leaks its better pr to turn a blind eye.

    leak in video games however... that is a different story. while i can believe that some pres kits were given to bad blogs that release the content, i just cant believe it happening as often as the word leak is used.
    Reply
  • alidan
    soccerdocksYes, it has that.
    but to what compasity... we have seen metro in EVERY demo, and i have to say, when they demo the desktop, they alway switch back to metro for a moment, because thats the new "start menu"

    remember when they decided that metro would be used to launch a program instead of clicking to launch... its videos like that where i go, yea we have a normal desktop... but how avoidable is metro?
    Reply
  • These are crappy "leaks", such a good job with win 7 and now they are going to give us this. Yeah, lets chase after apple who has what?, 8% of the market share. Or where the translation comes that we want our computers to look like our cell phones. I don't get it, I want better core "coolness" and all this app bs is just that. Think Vista would have taught MS a lesson. I want to see the OS, not "screenshots" of an ipad labeled as windows 8 :(
    Reply
  • jsmakkar
    Can't wait for Windows 8 Beta release.
    Reply
  • in_the_loop
    soccerdocksYes, it has that.
    But even if it has that, the default interface will be the tiled one.
    That is, it will fall back to it in ceratin situations, at least according to the testers earlier.
    And they also said that there were two controll panels, which is confusing.

    No reason to switch to it from win7, programs will still be 100% compatible, it is said.
    Reply
  • mrpijey
    I am usually reserved when it comes to new Windows versions and features, but I believe this will be a new WinME/Vista failure. For tablets/ARM devices the flat tile look may prove great, especially those familiar with WP7, but for people using a mouse/keyb combo this will be an utter turnoff, especially since the OS seems to fall back to the tiled look every now and then. I could underatand if tiles were an "addon" to the regular desktop version, but then they could have just released that as a "Windows 7 Tablet Edition" or whatever. Or make a clean desktop version and a clean tile version, not both mixed in some horrid mix.

    Going from the pleasing blue look in Windows 7 to a 2-dimensional mix of colorful tiles is a major turn off for me, and I will definately not upgrade unless MS makes sure you can get rid of the junk in "desktop" mode. Also, I have not seen any special new features in Win8 that seems useful to me, it seems all the focus has been put into the tiles and nothing else.

    As I said, for tablets I can see the tile design very useful and for once a true focus on tablet devices, but they seem to have forgot that the majority doesn't have an ARM/x86 tablet, and for those Win8 will not offer them anything.

    I would rather seen Win8 being named Windows 8 Tablet Edition or something, only then can I accept the direction Microsoft aims at with Win8. Otherwise I'll skip the OS, just as i did with Win98 (not SE), WinME and Vista.
    Reply