New alleged Windows Blue build shows off coming interface tweaks

A supposed partner build of Windows Blue shows off some of the early interface tweaks Microsoft may be making with its Windows 8 successor.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

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.

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