New alleged Windows Blue build shows off coming interface tweaks

New alleged Windows Blue build shows off coming interface tweaks

Summary: A supposed partner build of Windows Blue shows off some of the early interface tweaks Microsoft may be making with its Windows 8 successor.


It seems a partner build of Windows Blue has leaked to the Web, resulting in a number of new screen shots and videos showing off some of the expected interface tweaks coming to the product.


If the leaked build is real, Windows Blue will be getting some of the features -- like resizable tiles -- already present in Windows Phone 8. It also will be getting more features that will make it more usable on touch tablets, such as the ability to customize the Start Screen without having to use the Desktop Control Panel. 

According to the images and videos, there's also a new snap view which allows two windows to be snapped side-by-side so that each takes up half the size of the display, as well as an option to have four apps displayed simultaneously. (If that four-app view ends up making it into Blue, I'll be very happy, as I really miss real windowing in Windows 8.)

Windows Blue is the successor to Windows 8. It is not Windows 9; it is an updated version of Windows 8. Microsoft is working to release it to manufacturing this summer, according to previous leaks. Blue versions of Windows Phone, Windows Server and Windows services and apps are expected to arrive around the same time or slightly after Windows Blue itself.

I'm not one for downloading these kinds of non-publicly available Windows builds, for legal and safety reasons. (The image I included above in this post is from the Winbeta video of the supposed leaked build.) But here are a few of the sites showing off screen shots and videos of this new build, which is believed to be build number 9364:

Winbeta video showing off Build 9364

Screenshot gallery (on Dropbox) of Build 9364

The Verge

Supersite for Windows

Microsoft Collection Book site

There are not a whole lot of interface changes in Blue, based on these leaked images and videos. This could be either because Microsoft is not planning to make any huge UI changes with the coming update (as I've heard previously from my contacts) and/or because user-interface tweaks tend to be one of the last thing Microsoft does before it releases a new version of Windows.

The screen shots and videos of the alleged partner build also include some new, possibly Microsoft-developed apps, including a timer, calculator, sound-recorder and a "Movie Moments" app.

Blue supposedly will be released for public testing right after a second and final internal milestone build is compiled. Microsoft is believed to have completed internal Milestone 1 of Windows Blue in mid-February 2013.

I've asked Microsoft for comment on the new alleged build. I'm not holding my breath, but in case anything comes back, I will update this post.

Update: No comment, it is. Courtesy of a company spokesperson.

Topics: Windows 8, Microsoft, Windows, Windows Phone, Windows Server


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • This is what I call “reboot” MS style.

    Resizable tiles (rectangles), two windows side by side and customization of the “program manager”. we are almost there, soon we may have Windows 2.0 in our hands, thanks to the Metro improvements.

    I think I am going to skip directly to the final version, the one that has fully functioning windows, and looks better i.e. Windows 7
    • :)

      Unfortunate but quite funny.

      Same goes with Windows Phone 8. It should have been called Windows Phone 2. I was going to buy a WP8 phone that I suddenly found it does not have even a simple file manager!!!

      Even Windows 2.0 (i.e. 1993) had a file manager. Incidentally the Blue metro UI is very similar to Windows 2.0 (i.e. tiled windows).
      • bull crap

        They don't look the same at all....
        Simon Tupper
        • Windows 8 fail

          The surface is the latest example of Microsoft's inability to innovate. It's laughable how inept they are at innovation. Google probably comes up with more innovation on any/every given day then MS does in a year. MS only responds to the innovation of others, as they have done for many years. They copy and replicate everyone around them, but by the time they do, it's already old news. Things are different now. They are still the biggest boy on the playground, but their 3rd grade approach isn't cutting it with the high school crowd anymore and everybody can see that the 3rd grader might be a little slow in the head.
          Josy Vieira
          • LOL

            you are just not paying close enough attention. Google is an advertising company that only releases products that track people and eventually will become a govt tracking organization to keep tabs on people. Microsoft is a software company and they are always innovating. Ever heard of XAML or pixel sense. Microsofts biggest problem is that they do not advertise as much as they should. google and Apple put out commercials constantly and pat themselves on the back for the same old crap with a new shiny skin. don't get caught up in the BS.
          • Tinfoil hat...

            What size tinfoil hat do you wear?
            Stephen Charchuk
          • Moron

            Google was created with CIA seed money and are its real owners. Maybe you need to get a little foil yourself and join in with those who have a clue.
          • Turn off Glenn Beck

            And back away from Faux News
          • Google & Tin Foil Non-Believers

            The Google-CIA connection is real. The Feds admitted it more than once, and the record does indeed show that the CIA bankrolled the development of Google.

            Here's a quote from a recent story: "Google Maps was not created by Google; it was developed by In-Q-Tel, a taxpayer funded, not-for-profit, development organization of the CIA. It is a whole lot easier for private companies to do snooping on AMERICAN citizens than it is for the government; and if they get busted they pay a small fine (see above), and are quietly reimbursed under the table by the agency that hired them to do their dirty work. Oh, and as an aside, SIRI, Apple’s voice query tool, also can be traced back to In-Q-Tel. "
          • NotMSUser: Most asinine commenter, thus far...

            What the heck does any of this have to do with Beck or FOX.

            BTW, you reveal yourself to be utterly biased and clueless and fearful of FOX when you feel you need to use "FAUX" as a way to denigrate the network. Why not come up with real cases of why it is not "fair and balanced" or not informative at all?
          • Too much useless advertising

            I think Microsoft's biggest problem is that they advertise constantly, but don't show a single useful thing about Surface. Instead, they seem fascinated with the click that their keyboard makes when it attaches. Every commercial is another music video with people dancing around clicking keyboards. Apparently, that's the most satisfying part of owning a Surface. ;)
          • Exactly my impression

            And if I hear any more banjo music in those silly commercials I'll poke my ears out.
          • Not really.....

            I just got an HP Envy x2 that undocks from the keyboard and becomes 100% tablet and the thing is great and its full Windows 8. The thing is slim and weighs very little when used as a tablet and has an extra battery in the keyboard. Windows 8 works very well on touch devices and there are things that need to be fixed, but they have most of the pieces in place to make a few tweaks and respond to the criticism as they should. Some people are just bitter and that's what you get, but the product is done very well for touch.
          • Master Joe Says...According to Whom?

            I own a Surface Pro, and I love it. How is that an inability to innovate? It's an ultra-portable computing device, running the full 64-bit version of Windows 8 Pro. It works great as a touch device, using the Windows 8 apps, and it works great as a traditional device, using the TypeCover on the desktop. What other tablet running any other OS can claim that? Use iOS? Find apps to mimic what the applications on your desktop do. Android? Same thing. Surface Pro? No need. Everything you can do on your desktop PC can be done on the Surface Pro. And, the ability to sync things between the two makes it nearly seemless to switch back and forth. Throw in an Office 365 subscription, and life is good. I doubt you've even used a Surface Pro, before making your, pardon the term for lack of a better one, half retarded statements, but that's irrelavent. The point is, you make a stupid comment (again, for lack of a better word), and there's no reason to go any further on it. Android and iOS are great for toys. they're great for Angry birds, maybe even watching a video on YouTube or giving your kids something to play with. But, to get real work done on a crisp, clear display, with a powerful computing device running a desktop (not attempt at a desktop replacement) OS, you're left with only one choice, for now. If the Surface Pro is Microsoft's inability to innovate, I'll take practicality and productivity over innovation any day of the week.

            --Master Joe
          • This isn't 2002

            What do you mean MS doesn't innovate? Had they simply copied iphone's outdated modality would that be innovation? Had they not released Kinect would that be innovation? Had they tried to cram Win7 into touch (see XP tablet edition) would be innovation?
          • What is the real reason for Metro?

            To sell apps through Micro-nuts' store.
          • Yep

            You are right, that is the whole point and the main reason the start menu was replaced. They want us to start Windows and go directly to their store….

            They turned their “maybe ok for tablets only OS” into a marketing tool enforced to everybody’s machine.
          • MS is paying the price.

            For decades, they have bought up other companies creativity and marketed it as their own. Software companies do this all the time. They get the source code and change the GUI to match their existing product line. Simple, but to actually get into the code and modify it to your standards is a different ball game. That's why Microsoft really doesn't understand or know it's own OS and has to rely on third party anti-virus companies to almost totally provide security... after the fact.

            Microsoft has been blindsided so many times by attacks only because they take the short road and are reselling other peoples creativity and hard work without really understanding it.

            Google is creative and develops its own technology. Who has an equivalent to Gmail with 425 million subscribers (largest email on the planet) and Google Earth? Certainly not Microsoft.

            Now we have a replacement for Win8 (already). What's it going to accomplish? More confusion and rejection for something that really doesn't change core OS functions.
          • Microsoft doesn't realize...

            ... that people are smart enough to understand what they are up to and don't buy it anymore.

            People use Linux now as the majority. OEM's like it because there are no restrictions and they can modify it at will, copy it and distribute it without cost or danger of being sued by companies like Microsoft. And best of all, it does not require AV at all. And with 1.3 million Android activations per day, there is no way Microsoft can even hope to compete.
          • The future of Microsoft.

            Microsoft is just waiting for Google Chromebook to take over, leaving their last refuge of the desktop to disappear. Their stock value is not going to withstand this inevitable takeover.