These are the backgrounds for the start screen in Windows 8

Since the leak of Windows 8, there has been a plethroa of information about the platform hitting the web well before its official public launch on October 26th; posted below are the background options for for the new start screen in Windows 8.

As you can see from the images, the patterns are quite unique and diverse; as a reminder, you can also change the background color too for added customization. We expect that Microsoft will likely push out more backgrounds in the near future to help expand its customization options for the platform. 

Take a look through the gallery below to see all of the different options available in Windows 8 RTM and let us know your thoughts about the images in the comments if you love or hate the designs.

Windows 8 will be made available on August 15th for MSDN and TechNet subscribers, and on October 26th for retail purchase. Although pricing has yet to be confirmed, a rumor suggests that Windows 8 Pro could be made available for around $70 dollars, or at the confirmed $39.95 upgrade time-limited offer.

Source: ItsWindows.com

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Got Gmail and Windows 8? Get Push email in the Mail app

Next Story

IDC: Windows Phone sees significant growth in Q2 2012

122 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Err, I'm all for Metro and the start screen, but those images kind of defeats the purpose of "less distraction". XD Thank goodness they kept the Preview backgrounds.

Mostly god damn awful. I see why MS only wanted solid colours. See what you get with user input. Enjoy windows 8 bi*ches.

ogamawab said,
Microsoft is going under...

Yesssss, Microsoft is now officially going to DIE! Like people have been saying for decades..........

rhianntp said,
Fisher Price called...they want their computer back !

I agree. We should send them back all the computers running XP.

Wait, that's not what you were talking about?

FrozenEclipse said,

I agree. We should send them back all the computers running XP.

Wait, that's not what you were talking about?

You can have another shot at that if you want lol

PLEASE, stop this:
Windows 8 will be made available on August 15th for MSDN and TechNet subscribers, and on October 26th for retail purchase. Although pricing has yet to be confirmed, a rumor suggests that Windows 8 Pro could be made available for around $70 dollars, or at the confirmed $39.95 upgrade time-limited offer.

YAY! Fisher Price OS(c).

I thought XP was butt freaking ugly when it first came out -- it didn't make me want to hurl though. Win8 could require 1/4 the hardware resources, be 4x as secure, and poop unicorns and sunshine out of a USB port and I wouldn't use this turd.

Thank you Microsoft for taking a great OS and destroying it.

Long live the next XP (Win7)!

-- Brian

excalpius said,
Windows 8 is the New Coke of operating systems. And now, apparently, it's just for kids.

not saying i like all those backgrounds but a bit funny to see some geeks giving fashion advice who just want black with some grey... LOL

morden said,

not saying i like all those backgrounds but a bit funny to see some geeks giving fashion advice who just want black with some grey... LOL

Hmmm right now I am staring at some pretty amazing nature pictures that were included with win7 -- not a bit of black or grey to be seen (other than the fonts).

While we are at it, it is called *Windows* that implies that your applications can run in a -- wait for it -- waaaaiiiiitttt for it -- a WINDOW! MS should have called this piece of crap Metro and been done with the Windows name. No, they had to use the Windows name to get suckers to buy it.

runningnak3d said,

Hmmm right now I am staring at some pretty amazing nature pictures that were included with win7 -- not a bit of black or grey to be seen (other than the fonts).

While we are at it, it is called *Windows* that implies that your applications can run in a -- wait for it -- waaaaiiiiitttt for it -- a WINDOW! MS should have called this piece of crap Metro and been done with the Windows name. No, they had to use the Windows name to get suckers to buy it.

and who forces you to update? just get a Windows 7 licence and you can install it on any machine you bought or will buy, problem solved

i like what you did there, "window"... you know there's an actual desktop in W8 right? oh yeah, your're one of those metro haters... BORING

morden said,

and who forces you to update? just get a Windows 7 licence and you can install it on any machine you bought or will buy, problem solved

i like what you did there, "window"... you know there's an actual desktop in W8 right? oh yeah, your're one of those metro haters... BORING

All of my machines do have win7 on them, the mere fact that there is nothing out there better than Windows for an OS is what will eventually force me to upgrade (yea, 2012, 2013, 20xx will not be the year of Linux on the desktop, and OSX is just as nasty an OS as Win8). I can only hope that MS has seen the error of their ways by the time Win7 starts to reach EOL.

Yea I am a Metro hater, and with good reason. I use my boxes to get actual WORK done. Ya know the ability to have several word documents open, some spread sheets, Visual Studio, etc...etc... It is obvious the direction MS is heading with Office and VS, so the fact that there is a "desktop" for backwards compatibility will be moot.

runningnak3d said,

Hmmm right now I am staring at some pretty amazing nature pictures that were included with win7 -- not a bit of black or grey to be seen (other than the fonts).

So you are staring at an empty desktop with no windows open? Cool.

runningnak3d said,

All of my machines do have win7 on them, the mere fact that there is nothing out there better than Windows for an OS is what will eventually force me to upgrade (yea, 2012, 2013, 20xx will not be the year of Linux on the desktop, and OSX is just as nasty an OS as Win8). I can only hope that MS has seen the error of their ways by the time Win7 starts to reach EOL.

Yea I am a Metro hater, and with good reason. I use my boxes to get actual WORK done. Ya know the ability to have several word documents open, some spread sheets, Visual Studio, etc...etc... It is obvious the direction MS is heading with Office and VS, so the fact that there is a "desktop" for backwards compatibility will be moot.


You havent used Win8 thats for sure.
I get more work done (especially going through multiple documents and comparing there, your talking out of your ass here.
Win8 offers the EXACT same functionality you describe as using your PC with Win7 for. And I still seriously doubt you can read 2 documents at the exact same time anyways.
And if any company is pro-backwards compatibility... its Microsoft. Windows 9 will still have a desktop with the Win32API

Anyways, before being a Metro Hater, use it! Especially on a multi monitor setup, its a great ADDITION to a normal desktop (u can however, decide on not using Metro at all tho)

Shadowzz said,

You havent used Win8 thats for sure.

I used the DP, CP and RP. I kept *hoping* it was going to get better, and now I have the RTM installed just because I had to see for myself...


I get more work done (especially going through multiple documents and comparing there, your talking out of your ass here.
Win8 offers the EXACT same functionality you describe as using your PC with Win7 for. And I still seriously doubt you can read 2 documents at the exact same time anyways.

For now, sure I can use the desktop mode. However, I would love for you tell me how the hell to get the desktop across all 3 of my monitors. As for reading multiple documents at the same time -- I am a programmer. I need access to API docs, and be able to write documentation for my code without having to flip between the docs AND have my code on the screen. When everything is Metroized -- that isn't possible. You can split between TWO apps (again unless I am missing something). Right now this isn't an issue, but if MS is pushing the whole Metro paradigm, then eventually Office and Visual Studio will be fully "Metroed over" and then I am just SOL.


And if any company is pro-backwards compatibility... its Microsoft. Windows 9 will still have a desktop with the Win32API

I don't doubt that, but again, it is a moot point if all software companies start coding for Metro.


Anyways, before being a Metro Hater, use it! Especially on a multi monitor setup, its a great ADDITION to a normal desktop (u can however, decide on not using Metro at all tho)

Please educate me on this multi-monitor love. I get Metro / Desktop / Desktop, but I can't get Desktop on all 3.

-- Brian

Cyborg_X said,
If they add all the quite busy backgrounds why not allow any image?

Hoping for a choice on the tile colors too.

Yeah I would like to be able to make the tiles a uniform colour if I wanted.

ok the user's name is "SARVESH SHRIVASTANA"... are you sure these are for the North American versions of Win8? looks like a lot of weird tripped out indian imagery...

djnv2010 said,
ok the user's name is "SARVESH SHRIVASTANA"... are you sure these are for the North American versions of Win8? looks like a lot of weird tripped out indian imagery...

No.

Some of the backgrounds look nice but other backgrounds, combined with the tiles, make the Start screen appear too busy.

(Oh, and that purple!)

Quite bizarre , I presume someone like Stardock will come up with a skinning program to change it even more?

Joseph B said,
Time to switch to uBuntu I guess.

I see why you didn't even need to mention that was sarcasm

Joseph B said,
Time to switch to uBuntu I guess.

Enjoy Unity or Gnome3 man they are WAY, WAY worse then Metro
or 'hack' your way to KDE4 or Gnome 2 (u can hack metro start away and start button back btw, and its ALLOT easier then switching DWM's in Ubuntu)

I'm amazed how technically inclined people on this site are so quick to ditch Windows, not because their software or printers stopped working, not because it runs like crap on their pc, but because of a screen on boot that replaces the little menu on the left of the screen.

.Neo said,
You can't just select your own picture?

How are Microsoft going to make your stupid low res jpg of your ugly family scroll in the parallax fashion that these images scroll with?

They need to control the source art that make up these backgrounds to ensure the animations stay smooth.

InsaneNutter said,
Nope, Metro is not about user choice.

Metro is about controlling the UX. The idea that the average user will create png files that fit the UX is pretty far fetched. Surely someone will hack together something for people who do want to spend the time making it look good... but MS is probably trying to avoid a MySpace interface.

MrHumpty said,

Metro is about controlling the UX. The idea that the average user will create png files that fit the UX is pretty far fetched. Surely someone will hack together something for people who do want to spend the time making it look good... but MS is probably trying to avoid a MySpace interface.

I think Microsoft do a pretty good job at creating a Myspace interface if you look at the screenshot at the top of the first page...

I think a bit of control would be nice, the background aside all the random colored tiles look horrible to be honest, a bit of user control would be nice. I have avoided pinning most of the default Metro apps to my start screen and just have shortcuts to proper Windows apps, the background is always the same color on them so it doesn't look too bad.

MrHumpty said,

Metro is about controlling the UX. The idea that the average user will create png files that fit the UX is pretty far fetched. Surely someone will hack together something for people who do want to spend the time making it look good... but MS is probably trying to avoid a MySpace interface.

Add to this that MS wants users to have a uniform experience across all of the Windos 8 devices they use or login to. (I logged in to my freshly installed Windows 8 with my MS account, and it tried installing the Apps and everything I had setup with the RP) my settings are the same, my messenger is the same, my color schemes are the same. Its all the same. And this is one of the major reasons why I do love a very intrusive big ass start menu.

But for the others, go get a windows PC, ipad and android phone and have NONE of the identical same apps across all 3 devices, the same looks and feels but all differently..maybe some people here will like the be idiots, the general public wants everything to look the same or they go 'huh wtf i dont get it'

People should know first before they tear it down online trying to convince others of their bull. Plus seems like few see how the average users want to use a PC or any device for that matter. They do not give a rats ass about what OS or hardware they run. Ask the average Mac user "What Operating System you got" and he will be like "Windows?" Ask the average windows user "What Windows are you using" And they have NO F*CKING CLUE (the better question is 'what does your start menu button look like, add Win8, Do you have a start menu button? )

Haters be hating, stop pretending you know better then MS on how the consumer market works.

Dot Matrix said,
I'm liking image 17 a lot, despite its "business".

What is it's business? I think it's none of your business!

snorge said,
Why create a "news story" over every little thing in Windows 8? This is a topic for the forums if at all.
I'm sorry, but are you drowning in a sea of epic tech news right now? I prefer something like this over nothing, frankly.

snorge said,
Why create a "news story" over every little thing in Windows 8? This is a topic for the forums if at all.

I'm not an active forum user, where do you leave me and others like me?

snorge said,
Why create a "news story" over every little thing in Windows 8? This is a topic for the forums if at all.

Suck it.

snorge said,
Why create a "news story" over every little thing in Windows 8? This is a topic for the forums if at all.

Yeah what a silly article for a Windows fan site to post. Pft..

snorge said,
Why create a "news story" over every little thing in Windows 8? This is a topic for the forums if at all.

you got kicked in the face really hard or something? Go look up what this site is made for (google it for that matter, there might even be a wikipedia page about this website)

oh there actually is duurrrr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neowin#History
knock yourself out mang

CJEric said,

We all know that's a recipe for success...
It always makes me laugh when these types of comments show up. I've been a Zune desktop client user and a subscriber for some time. I can't tell you how many times people have commented about the player or how it's nice I can pull down whatever songs I like. The Software, Service, and Experience are amazing. Its the fact it isn't popular and nobody knows about it that really kicks it in the ass. That's all about to change.

CJEric said,
We all know that's a recipe for success...

Please, shut up with the pointless Zune reference - the problems that lead to Zune's failure had NOTHING to do with the platform or the feel and everything to do with the poor execution of the product.

MrHumpty said,
It always makes me laugh when these types of comments show up. I've been a Zune desktop client user and a subscriber for some time. I can't tell you how many times people have commented about the player or how it's nice I can pull down whatever songs I like. The Software, Service, and Experience are amazing. Its the fact it isn't popular and nobody knows about it that really kicks it in the ass. That's all about to change.

We have a badass here.

MrHumpty said,
It always makes me laugh when these types of comments show up. I've been a Zune desktop client user and a subscriber for some time. I can't tell you how many times people have commented about the player or how it's nice I can pull down whatever songs I like. The Software, Service, and Experience are amazing. Its the fact it isn't popular and nobody knows about it that really kicks it in the ass. That's all about to change.

I have nothing against the Zune client except that I hate the **** out of it. I only use it to sync media with my Windows Phone, and trying to drag and drop stuff onto the Zune client UI is an irritating game. As far as visual aesthetics are concerned, it's fairly slick, and even takes me back to the Kai Krause UI days.

Skwerl said,
I have nothing against the Zune client except that I hate the **** out of it. I only use it to sync media with my Windows Phone, and trying to drag and drop stuff onto the Zune client UI is an irritating game. As far as visual aesthetics are concerned, it's fairly slick, and even takes me back to the Kai Krause UI days.

The Syncing experience with WP7-7.5 sucks that's w/o question. The client's UX for being a media player is fantastic. If that UX and style can be melded into Win8 than it's a win.

These look so much better! Good to see some excitement and not just a solid colour. These are awesome but I also can't wait for the guys over at devian art (or wherever) to release some custom ones after a hack comes out!

The image colors also changes depending on the background color. So, for each of the 20 images, there are 25 combinations of colors.

Proculsi said,
The image colors also changes depending on the background color. So, for each of the 20 images, there are 25 combinations of colors.

Yep they are PNG's with transparency settings I think, or the artists were busy

ingramator said,

Yep they are PNG's with transparency settings I think, or the artists were busy

I think there are unique images

CJEric said,
Yeah. I think I'm going to stick with a solid blackish color

Yah, think I'm going to stick with Windows 7. It's an adult OS.

Kids in school are going to get beat up showing screenshots like this. 8P

excalpius said,

Yah, think I'm going to stick with Windows 7. It's an adult OS.

Kids in school are going to get beat up showing screenshots like this. 8P

Why not just stick with XP like the rest of the crabbies?

CJEric said,
Yeah. I think I'm going to stick with a solid blackish color

Well set your theme to black (have to manually slide the thing) and your titles and stuff will become unreadable (they stay black for some reason) altho i havent been assed to look around how to change this I just set it back to automatic.

excalpius said,

Yah, think I'm going to stick with Windows 7. It's an adult OS.

Kids in school are going to get beat up showing screenshots like this. 8P


YOU ARE SO COOL MAN CAN I HAZ UR AUTOGRAPF?

excalpius said,

Yah, think I'm going to stick with Windows 7. It's an adult OS.

Kids in school are going to get beat up showing screenshots like this. 8P


I think I saw some similar comments about Aero back in the day, with XP supposedly being 'adult OS' (what kind of nonsense is that by the way?).

Phouchg said,
Lolcats, please. No deal otherwise.

My picture password's a LOLCat. They make excellent candidates for that!

Zain Adeel said,
Now I understand why they included these Backgrounds. Its for Minor Accounts which are introduced with Windows 8

Minor accounts?

Mark said,

Kids


kids?, well the kids would be the ages around 14-16 complainingabout Windows 8 and how it has no start button. The "kids" that think they know it all, the kids that listen to dubstep and saying it gets you high, the kids that whine over nothing even tough it can be changed. those are the kids.

nsow- said,

kids?, well the kids would be the ages around 14-16 complainingabout Windows 8 and how it has no start button. The "kids" that think they know it all, the kids that listen to dubstep and saying it gets you high, the kids that whine over nothing even tough it can be changed. those are the kids.

You must be a swell person to hang out with.

nsow- said,

kids?, well the kids would be the ages around 14-16 complainingabout Windows 8 and how it has no start button. The "kids" that think they know it all, the kids that listen to dubstep and saying it gets you high, the kids that whine over nothing even tough it can be changed. those are the kids.

Yeah, ok, chill out, I was only stating what Zain meant by saying "minors"

MrHumpty said,
You must be a swell person to hang out with.

he does raise a valid point. People cry about something they didnt even gave a chance(and isnt the major change they act like it is), yet they listen to construction vehicles making hell of a noise (dont get me wrong, theres plenty of GOOD dubstep in my playlists and has been there for many years already)

Much better than the ones in the Release Preview. I think they look pretty funky, and are not boring like I found some of the RP ones. I'll like using them in 8. Though hopefully someone can find a way to add even more eventually.

JAB Creations said,
Yeah! About the same level of creativity as say, most bands which every song sounds pretty much the same.

Make me hope for Webshots to come up with a Win 8 version, to get rid of that crap.

A Quad-core tablet with Jelly Beans Android starting to sound like a real good alternative.

Captain555 said,
A Quad-core tablet with Jelly Beans Android starting to sound like a real good alternative.

Android is nice for mobile though I do mostly production so it's a tower and a desk most of the time for me. I have a new spare computer, I'll be spending time with Linux outside of emulation. So far I've found Debian + KDE to be a really good combo. If I can get it to production-level quality without being harassed in to the console to type commands that should be simple things like copy/paste or editing files without the OS flipping out (it IS my computer) I'll be able to ditch Windows.

ModNet said,
Looking Good

Really like how most of them are tied to the background color.... makes them look like they fit in better. A stark contrast to what many people do today by having some random photo that you can barely see anything else on their screen.

jagowar said,
A stark contrast to what many people do today by having some random photo that you can barely see anything else on their screen.

Heaven forbid people have something that actually means something to them personally on their computers instead of some Kindergarten-inspired industrial design 101 amateur hour garbage...

excalpius said,

Heaven forbid people have something that actually means something to them personally on their computers instead of some Kindergarten-inspired industrial design 101 amateur hour garbage...

They do on the lockscreen.... don't need it more than there. Having it on the desktop is just bad design which is being remedied finally.

excalpius said,

Heaven forbid people have something that actually means something to them personally on their computers instead of some Kindergarten-inspired industrial design 101 amateur hour garbage...

Just because it might 'mean something to them' doesn't mean it looks good.

ModNet said,
Looking Good

Yeah, some of those are really pretty striking, and without being distracting. One of them is nothing but distraction, but I still find myself kind of liking it.

JAB Creations said,

Android is nice for mobile though I do mostly production so it's a tower and a desk most of the time for me. I have a new spare computer, I'll be spending time with Linux outside of emulation. So far I've found Debian + KDE to be a really good combo. If I can get it to production-level quality without being harassed in to the console to type commands that should be simple things like copy/paste or editing files without the OS flipping out (it IS my computer) I'll be able to ditch Windows.


and then a dist-upgrade will render your 'working' drivers totally incapacitated.

OT: I really dont get all this retarded(yes it is retarded) hatred vs Metro.... Its not different then a combined desktop/start menu, geesh people!
Just stop flaming the internet with your utter nonsense (most didnt even use Win8 or only in a VM environment... people belonging in these 2 groups, shouldnt speak at all about anything Win8)
Stay in your ancient cave and go back to the commodores with yellow/green CLI only screens... geesh

ITS REALLY NOTHING DIFFERENT FROM WINDOWS 7! and if you all hate it so much, http://lmgtfy.com/?q=start8 .. (oh noes, have to manually 'hax' my changes... its normal behavior in the linux world to be a total 1337 person forced to do the simplest tasks (like installing a driver) in the hardest possible way, but when someone has to go outside the box with Windows, its boohoo crycrycry)