Microsoft just can’t seem to keep a lid on it: A new development version of Windows 8.1, aka Windows Blue, was leaked this week on P2P sites, showing some new tweaks and improvements.
Build 9369 does not bring any significant changes over the previous leak, but Microsoft seems to be working on refinements of the multi-tasking interface, as well as a new Apps List and a new file explorer for SkyDrive.
In the first Windows 8.1 leak, we saw a new mode for snapping two apps on the screen in 50/50 ratio (compared to the 75/25 ratio currently available). The new build adds a splash screen for new apps you want to snap side by side—you simply swipe it left or right to choose which side of the screen it goes to. The app then opens.
There’s also a new touch-friendly Files app carrying the SkyDrive logo, which allows you to navigate files stored either on your hard drive or on the cloud-storage service, although it’s unclear whether this app will replace the SkyDrive app. In settings, some new additions include the ability to save files to SkyDrive by default and a new option to connect to a wireless display.
Upgrades for mouse and keyboard users
While these improvements are beneficial for users of touch devices, Microsoft also is working on more adaptations for mouse and keyboard users.
Build 9369 brings a new button in the bottom left area of the Start Screen so you can click and quickly get to a list of all your installed apps. From there you can sort alphabetically, by most used, or by most recently installed apps, as well as search for apps.
The Search charm also has been updated to reveal apps from your results and, via a new setting, you also can include suggestions from the Web.
Reports earlier this week indicated that Microsoft is considering bringing back the pop-up Start menu for the desktop mode as well as a new option to boot straight into desktop mode, bypassing the new “Metro” interface altogether.
Neither of these features, however, seems to have made it into this latest leak of Windows 8.1.
Microsoft completes its boldest, but riskiest version of Windows, and releases it to PC builders.
Microsoft’s Steve Sinofsky announced on the Building Windows 8 blog Wednesday that development on Windows 8 is now complete. The final bits are being shipped to hardware OEMs, which can now do the heavy lifting of integrating the shiny new OS into new PC systems, which are slated for release starting on October 26.
As Sinofsky, who is president of the Windows and Windows Live Division of Microsoft, noted in his blog, “no software project is ever really ‘done.’” We’ll no doubt see the usual stream of updates as the new operating system lands in the wild.
Prior to the official launch date, key Microsoft partners and customers will be able to download the RTM for internal testing and use. Microsoft Developer Network Platforms (MSDN) and TechNet subscribers will be able to grab the bits directly from Microsoft on August 15. A day later, enterprise customers and Microsoft Partner Network members can access the new OS. On September 1, Microsoft volume license customers without software assurance agreements will be able to download Windows 8.
Defcon 2011 is in full hacking swing, and Itzhak Avraham — “Zuk” for short — and his company Zimperium have unveiled the Android Network Toolkit for easy hacking on the go. Need to find vulnerabilities on devices using nearby networks? The app, dubbed “Anti” for short, allows you to simply push a button to do things like search a WiFi network for potential targets, or even take control of a PC trojan-style.
Well folks, now we know. It looks like the HTC Ruby that was leaked via a series of hyper-sensitive office photos is headed to T-Mobile. You know the one — a couple weeks back, when someone underestimated the glare of the HTC Flyer and dropped their seemingly harmless photos on Flickr? Yeah, that’s the handset in question.
The FBI has just released its very first mobile app, aimed at helping parents deal with their worst nightmare — a missing child. Known as Child ID, the application allows users to store their kid’s photos and identifying information directly on their handsets, making it easier to provide authorities with vital data whenever the little one disappears.
After years of delays, hacker vulnerabilities, and technical hiccups, Boeing is finally reaching the finish line — the 787 Dreamliner is ready. The first of the firm’s fantasy flyers was presented to executives of All Nippon Airways this week, scoring ANA a dreamy new jet that promises to increase fuel efficiency by 20 percent when compared to similarly sized birds.