Slowly trickling down the pike is a freshly-baked Windows 8 M3 build purportedly distributed out to select OEMs via Microsoft Connect recently. Since then, the flood of information hitting the Internet has been exciting, but not particularly revealing in the way of visuals. While this isn't too much more to contribute to what's already out there, a kind anonymous soul sent me a screen shot today of a new Windows 8 build sporting a new wallpaper. Not surprisingly, we see fish and other sea-related visuals -- par for the course pre-beta visuals ever since Windows 7's early builds. Here is a screen shot of the Windows 8 build with the wallpaper in use (build string removed for anonymity; click the image below to see a larger version):
Nothing too exciting there, but we see again the user tile on the right-hand side of the task bar which apparently makes certain commands/tasks easily-accessible to the user. That feature was first spotted and made public in some of the first real screen shots posted of Windows 8 by win7china.com last month.
In addition to the screen shot and wallpaper I was sent, I've been informed there are Jupiter bits (a new user interface (UI) library for Windows) scattered throughout the OS, as well as signs of Windows 8's new "Twin UI" via a new DLL aptly named TWINUI.DLL. Though these bits are not able to be enabled at the moment with any built-in functionality, if they're there and this build fully leaks, I'll be watching Rafael Rivera's Within Windows to see what can be done despite Microsoft's attempts to keep hidden code hidden. With all Rafael did to enable Windows 7's super-hidden UI in early builds when it supposedly couldn't be done, if any new UI features are in this build, he will undoubtedly find them.
My colleague Mary Jo Foley wrote a great piece today about the impending leak of this latest Windows 8 build, as well as some historicity of currently-leaked screen shots and Windows 8 information. I suggest you have a look at it to really get what all the excitement and projection is about. Though I don't expect us to see too much out of this leaked build by way of visuals and a new user interface (the part I would wager most people are interested in at this point), there is *much* more Microsoft is taking on with Windows 8 that we can delve into. Proof of that can be seen in the plethora of information I've uncovered on LinkedIn, Microsoft job ads, employee portfolios, etc. in recent posts (see here and here).
Such a hodgepodge of information can now come together in a manner which serves as breadcrumbs for us to follow with exploring new functionality in builds (especially this particular build, if/when we can get our hands on it). So, be sure to keep your eyes open for the impending leak! And if you're not interested in downloading or installing a leaked pre-beta version of Windows 8, we'll be sure to keep you covered here on ZDNet. Oh, and before I forget, if you would like to download the wallpaper from the screen shot above, here you go (right-click, save target as):
Related Windows 8 stories here on ZDNet:
- Windows 8, Windows Server 8 and Office 15: Tons of new information straight from Microsoft and its employees
- Windows 8: More information from employee resumes, portfolios, and job ads
- More on Microsoft 'Jupiter' and what it means for Windows 8
- Windows 8 roadmap: A picture is worth a thousand build numbers
- Windows 8: Multiple desktops, smart sticky notes, and more