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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49 Comments

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We know Microsoft makes good hardware (look: XboX, Zune, etc.) they should totally try making a powerful high-end (not mid-range either) desktop for Windows 8 (and higher). Not a million varieties because we already have that at the moment. Something can destroy Mac Pro fan boys.

Ishanx said,
We know Microsoft makes good hardware (look: XboX, Zune, etc.) they should totally try making a powerful high-end (not mid-range either) desktop for Windows 8 (and higher). Not a million varieties because we already have that at the moment. Something can destroy Mac Pro fan boys.

And they'd aim this new super machine at.... who?

_DP said,

And they'd aim this new super machine at.... who?

they should build a special tablet to fit their new tablet os

Denis W said,

Don't be silly.

Linux can run Windows apps in Wine, OSX can run Windows apps WineBottler, all without the need to install Windows, so ? Will it run Mac OSX and Linux applications ?

alexalex said,
Linux can run Windows apps in Wine, OSX can run Windows apps WineBottler, all without the need to install Windows, so ? Will it run Mac OSX and Linux applications ?

Linux? If there isn't a native Windows port of the program already available (and many are), look at Cygwin/X, CoLinux, etc etc. Not reliable, optimal, or even guaranteed to run a particular app, but neither is Wine. Native is always better, no matter what OS you're dealing with.
OSX? Only if you want the Apple police kicking in your door.

I just can't get excited yet about this evolving build...M1? Jeezuz I mean the core is likely being worked on between several different branches yet. Call me in about 6 months...

How is this method of log-in even considered something new or cool people? Do you not have smartphones?

This makes me wonder. They hav taken the current design and upped it a little bit more but I mean. What more can one do with a taskbar and the current design they have?

What would the next big jump be like the one we saw from 98 to xp

Ently said,
What would the next big jump be like the one we saw from 98 to xp

98 to XP wasnt a big jump.. there never has really been a big jump.. They just change the overall look.. But the functionality has remained alot similar.. ofcourse the control panel view was new in xp. But other than that i dont see many other things.

The superbar is new in win7 but then again.. it goes back to the first windows.

Zain Adeel said,

98 to XP wasnt a big jump.. there never has really been a big jump.. They just change the overall look.. But the functionality has remained alot similar.. ofcourse the control panel view was new in xp. But other than that i dont see many other things.

The superbar is new in win7 but then again.. it goes back to the first windows.

Sorry, what?! XP wasn't a big jump from 98? For starters, the XP kernel was completely different from the 9x kernels, lol!

Zain Adeel said,

98 to XP wasnt a big jump.. there never has really been a big jump.. They just change the overall look.. But the functionality has remained alot similar.. ofcourse the control panel view was new in xp. But other than that i dont see many other things.

The superbar is new in win7 but then again.. it goes back to the first windows.


You're focusing entirely at the high level changes (and missing a bunch of them out), the internal changes where huge and to say any new operating system release isn't major is simply misguided.

Firstly, XP was a huge jump from ME (It's funny, people seem to have forgotten this version of windows ) and it's a MASSIVE jump from windows 98 which was a mere shell running on top of DOS still! (well, so was ME but ME was a little closer to XP)

_DP said,
Firstly, XP was a huge jump from ME (It's funny, people seem to have forgotten this version of windows ) and it's a MASSIVE jump from windows 98 which was a mere shell running on top of DOS still! (well, so was ME but ME was a little closer to XP)
ME is best not remembered.

Tony. said,

Sorry, what?! XP wasn't a big jump from 98? For starters, the XP kernel was completely different from the 9x kernels, lol!

+1

Zain Adeel said,
98 to XP wasnt a big jump.. there never has really been a big jump.. They just change the overall look.

You're funny noob. Windows 98 was based on the original DOS based Windows kernel, while XP has the NT kernel, build from the ground up for Windows NT 3.1 with the major goal to be more robust. The NT kernel was already used and tested for years in business products like NT 3.x and 4.x before it was first used in Windows 2000.

Listen son, don't make such silly comments if you're clueless, ok....sigh

Zain Adeel said,

98 to XP wasnt a big jump.. there never has really been a big jump.. They just change the overall look.. But the functionality has remained alot similar.. ofcourse the control panel view was new in xp. But other than that i dont see many other things.

The superbar is new in win7 but then again.. it goes back to the first windows.

98 to XP
DOS to NT
Actually it was a big jump.

sbdb said,

They jumped to Win2k from ME in case you didn't noticed.

What are you talking about? Windows 2000 came out early 2000 and is based on the NT kernel and windows ME came out late 2000 which was still pretty much a shell on top of dos. 2000=business ME=consumer

bdsams said,
Not everything is a pretty picture, read the text...it contains knowledge!

But COM+ and WinSxS are prettier with pictures

Jen Smith said,

But COM+ and WinSxS are prettier with pictures

Ahh WinSxS... people taking screenshots of the folder and freaking out over its folder size when a majority of files inside are simply symbolic/hardlinks to other files. lol

sbdb said,
You're joking, right...sigh

Right. I blame the lack of [sarcasm] tags in the forum software. Or a buggy sense of humor. Take your pick.

Denis W said,

Ahh WinSxS... people taking screenshots of the folder and freaking out over its folder size when a majority of files inside are simply symbolic/hardlinks to other files. lol

Actually only very few of those are hard links. Doesn't mean it doesn't take any space. It still takes massive amounts of space even if you don't count the hard links and the size increases with every update installed.