Additional Windows 8 UI and under-the-hood changes revealed

The dissection of system files in the leaked Windows 8 M1 build continues, as enthusiasts uncover more planned changes to Windows 8 that have not been covered already in the days surrounding the build's leak. At the beginning of this week, Windows 8 Italia began digging into system bits and revealed hidden references to the cloud integration Microsoft is promising for Windows 8. The changes were discovered by differentiating the function calls in system DLLs with presumably those from current shipping versions in Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Today's installment from Windows 8 Italia reveals a few UI-related details, and some under-the-hood system changes.

For UI changes, the existence of the Immersive UI as seen in a Metro-style Internet Explorer is further confirmed by function calls CreateImmersiveWindow and CreateCompanionWindow exported from twinui.dll. There is also a new Metro-styled printing UI. Whether this new UI will take over the traditional print dialogs used in Windows - except for custom UIs such as that used in Microsoft Office - remains to be seen.

Some new function calls are added to uxtheme.dll, which may permit better (or prettier) animations and transitions in the UI. There are also three new fonts from the Segoe UI family used in the UI. Segoe UI Light and Semi Light are mentioned - the latter font does not currently ship with Windows 7. Finally, we have some updates to DirectUI and perhaps a new UI or some procedure for installing new hardware.

This is all on top of other major UI changes revealed this week, which included an updated Task Manager, Disk Cleanup, and a new method of logging on for touch users as covered earlier today. A new leaked screenshot for the configuration UI for touch logon is shown above, coming from the same source that recorded the touch logon video.

The under-the-hood changes continue with additional modular kernel work which began as MinWin with Windows 7. The compatibility features, event management, error management, and managing WinSxS libraries have been reorganized. COM and OLE have also seen updates. The Bluetooth stack and the SQL Server Compact libraries received updates. There appears to be a new Language Runtime Library System to improve .NET integration with the system. And finally, only .NET Framework 4 will ship with Windows 8, leaving users to download old .NET Framework versions if needed.

Most of these changes will be made clear when Windows 8 hits beta sometime later this year.

Image Credit: MDL

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