Windows Blue build 9364 shows smaller & larger Tiles, better multi-tasking and more

It's looking likely that the build of Windows Blue (9364) that showed up on the web just moments ago is in fact real, as some people have reportedly been able to install the build and demonstrate some of the new features that accompany Blue. Previously we heard that there will be more customizable tile sizes in Windows Blue, and this appears to be true in this build; screenshots have appeared that show both smaller and even larger Live Tiles on the Start screen.

Multi-tasking improvements also appear to have been made, including the ability to run two apps side-by-side with the same application width. A multitude of new personalization options have also been shown, including a huge array of accent colors, and deeper SkyDrive integration has also been spotted in a few shots. As for Charms, there's now a Play option under Devices, and the Share charm now includes a screenshot option.

Internet Explorer 11 has also been spotted in Blue, although we previously were made aware that the update to the browser would be available in Blue.

No doubt more information and screenshots will surface about Windows Blue following the leak of build 9364, with a public preview to likely be made available in the coming months.

Source: WinForum

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Once again they completely ignore the desktop, make no effort at any sort of consistency or combining desktop and Metro modes. In the alternate reality of Windows 8, everyone in the world is going to buy a brand new touch Ultrabook and legacy x86 apps are dead. I was expecting some sort of sanity and making the OS more usable.

I just can't believe the stupidity that keeps coming from Microsoft, when you are a fan of something the brain makes that something very beautiful, look at new born babies, they don't look nice, quite the opposite, but a mom will hold her baby and see him the most beautiful baby in the world, she will feel sorry for the other moms that they were so unfortunate that their babies don't look as beautiful as her baby.

Windows 8 and Windows 8 Blue are ugly, that is the reality, and the hormones your brains are producing meant to protect newborn children, not to glorify the Windows 8 ugliness.

Wow, the entire Microsoft team, thousands of people, work so hard, to release big tile and a smaller tile, 2 pages of additional settings, and a calc app in full screen, and the fans on internet are cheering like they went to the moon :-)

Some people make stupidity, and some people love consuming stupidity, this is why stupidity exists

The search bar at the top right looks awkward.
In some of the screenshot at Paul Thurrott's that search bar almost overlap the title!

The layout of the Default apps PC Settings page is atrocious.
Its not final yet hope they work it out.

theres no start menu, winge my bag off cry cry cry... when there was a start menu i new what program/file i wanted if it wasnt on the desktop... win key (start menu) > type what i wanted and enter... its exactly the same here except it switches onto the metro screen then flicks back when i launch it. Does switching to the metro screen cause such bad lag my computer freezes for hours on end... no it doesnt its instant.

I dont get why people still keep moaning about it, sure for a new user it may seem strange but you get used to the whole OS with not much time at all. Sure we are more technically minded and know what to look for but it wont take long for the average havnt got a clue about anything people to figure out either. MS are looking to the future with this stuff not back peddling. Chill out i suppose, dont like it dont use it... go use your overpriced macs with OSX on or go play with your linux, leave us alone

They add voice memos and alarm/timer/stopwatch apps to the desktop OS but already available phone OS doesn't have such features (beside alarms) - the Microsoft way.

wingliston said,
Linux looks like outdated junk, still a fact.

Care to explain what outdated junk is and then what non out dated stuff should look like ?

korupt_one said,
wow good joke for a sunday, made me laugh

what made me laugh is that you all think squares on a screen looks good color squares oo so prettty . you are crazy if you think windows 8 looks better then ubuntu 12.10

I never liked any Linux UI, they all are not well integrated with the APPs, but the Ubuntu UI now looks way better than the latest Microsoft garbage, just way better, and I cannot believe I am saying that.

I guess they changed Ballmer's Meds again, damit; people! we all know he is crazy, but he functioned way better before you started the Meds!

If they must kill off the start menu and replace it with tiles on a start screen -
why not make the start screen WINDOWED in the desktop?

Something for everyone in that idea. Start screen (with its hyperactive flashing epilepsy-inducing disorganised tiles) is still there for the Win8 fanboys. But accessible from the desktop without overlaying existing work, like the old start menu.

Please stop fiddling with screen colours and backgrounds, and do some proper work, on the UI.

gb8080 said,
If they must kill off the start menu and replace it with tiles on a start screen -
why not make the start screen WINDOWED in the desktop?

Something for everyone in that idea. Start screen (with its hyperactive flashing epilepsy-inducing disorganised tiles) is still there for the Win8 fanboys. But accessible from the desktop without overlaying existing work, like the old start menu.

Please stop fiddling with screen colours and backgrounds, and do some proper work, on the UI.

That would be an awful UX. It's awful in Windows 7, it would still be awful there. I don't want to be cramped into a tiny ass menu at the bottom of my screen.

Dot Matrix said,

That would be an awful UX. It's awful in Windows 7, it would still be awful there. I don't want to be cramped into a tiny ass menu at the bottom of my screen.


Yes, I'm so upset that they removed a high precision pointer based menu and replaced it with an akward and space wasting finger based menu. Cause I always find myself going "DAMN, I can't find the application I need, I wish it was a giant 500px by 500px button." Nothing like evolving backwards.

Dot Matrix said,

That would be an awful UX. It's awful in Windows 7, it would still be awful there. I don't want to be cramped into a tiny ass menu at the bottom of my screen.

Well get a bigger screen then!
Those with large screens don't want to be forced into having to use fullscreen for everything, by inconsiderate designers who think a UI based on a phone-sized screen is acceptable for doing real work on a large non-touch screen.

gb8080 said,

Well get a bigger screen then!
Those with large screens don't want to be forced into having to use fullscreen for everything, by inconsiderate designers who think a UI based on a phone-sized screen is acceptable for doing real work on a large non-touch screen.

I don't like the full screen part either, but that's not even the issue. The issue is the oversized square buttons, and how they have to be to fit the Metro design style. Look at the ESPN app as a good example of terrible Metro design. Headlines are in these tiles with 3 or 4 lines of two words per line which makes it terrible to try to read through quickly. Metro's biggest issue is it's overly square based tile system. If you want pictures or very little information, they work. If you want to use them for more than just a word or two or as links like in the ESPN app, it's usability is terrible. Metro HAS to evolve to a more information friendly UI and not just eye candy.

AJerman said,

I don't like the full screen part either, but that's not even the issue. The issue is the oversized square buttons, and how they have to be to fit the Metro design style. Look at the ESPN app as a good example of terrible Metro design. Headlines are in these tiles with 3 or 4 lines of two words per line which makes it terrible to try to read through quickly. Metro's biggest issue is it's overly square based tile system. If you want pictures or very little information, they work. If you want to use them for more than just a word or two or as links like in the ESPN app, it's usability is terrible. Metro HAS to evolve to a more information friendly UI and not just eye candy.

I think this article alleviates both of your concerns: 1/4 size tiles for small, low information purposes; and 4x tiles for large, high information purposes.

gb8080 said,

Well get a bigger screen then!
Those with large screens don't want to be forced into having to use fullscreen for everything, by inconsiderate designers who think a UI based on a phone-sized screen is acceptable for doing real work on a large non-touch screen.

Metro was first developed for the PC, then ported to the Windows Phone platform. Personally, I want a bigger screen because of the Immersive UX.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Mar 24 2013, 6:54pm :

AJerman said,

Yes, I'm so upset that they removed a high precision pointer based menu and replaced it with an akward and space wasting finger based menu. Cause I always find myself going "DAMN, I can't find the application I need, I wish it was a giant 500px by 500px button." Nothing like evolving backwards.

Precision? You call the Start Menu precise? Do you know how frakking easy it is to mis click in that damn thing? The mouse isn't a precision clicker on today's high resolution screens.

Edited by Dot Matrix, Mar 24 2013, 6:11pm :

For a SP, it's quit a big update, don't you think. A SP add only 1 to the build number, now we are on 9364, which is 164 build higher (and it is an old version!). There is more new to Windows Blue than only some squars. Like IE11, this is the first time that a new IE version comes with a SP. But it is not a SP...

Interesting to see what they're doing, but the same putrid design features not being fixed = no thanks from me.

Windows releases always used to get me posting about features I loved and those I hated but it was always fun. Since Windows 8, I feel that MS doesn't actually care - they have decided that the modern UI is the way forward and they wont spare a thought for all the loyal Windows fans that want more desktop. Ive lost my passion for Windows because its developers dont care what they are doing to it. I just dont care anymore and when some competitor eventually comes along and offers a better more detailed way back to controlling your PC then I will happily encourage everyone I know to move - thats how stupid I feel when writing this and Im not even that much of a geek.

Everyone has their opinion and choice.
But personally I think the desktop improved more from Windows 7 to Windows 8. Then it did from Windows Vista to 7.

Folks, Is Windows Blue an update for Windows 8 (like SP1)?
Will Surface (RT versions) devices will be able to upgrade to Windows Blue automatically?

Thank you in advance...

Windows Blue, yes. Actually, the Blue wave of updates will affect not just Windows client, but also Server, Phone and apparently their online services.

Thanks a lot for answering my question. I liked the term you used "wave of updates" ! So, when Windows Blue is released, every device will get updated throw Windows Updates.

HusamH said,
Thanks a lot for answering my question. I liked the term you used "wave of updates" ! So, when Windows Blue is released, every device will get updated throw Windows Updates.

Servers, desktops, laptops/Tablets yes; WP phones unfortunately not.

HA. for the people who always said metro can never be used for productivity,you have been proven wrong. 3 and 4 way snap,50/50 split, and multiple monitor support for metro apps. BOOM

vcfan said,
HA. for the people who always said metro can never be used for productivity,you have been proven wrong. 3 and 4 way snap,50/50 split, and multiple monitor support for metro apps. BOOM

I hope they will add the ability to run Modern apps in windows; yes there are third party apps allowing that but I would prefer to have it buit in by MS.

Some of us use more than 3 or 4 applications at once. As has been shown time and again, there is no substitute for the power and flexibility of a proper windowing interface to facilitate genuine multi-tasking. This snapping stuff is still woefully inadequate for anything other than content consumption.

vcfan said,
HA. for the people who always said metro can never be used for productivity,you have been proven wrong. 3 and 4 way snap,50/50 split, and multiple monitor support for metro apps. BOOM
Ermmm.... I thought those can be done in a normal classic Windows Application?

Now Microsoft only needs to integrate an option for Modern Apps, to open in a window like ModernMix does on the desktop. Then you can choose if you want your apps in full screen like now, or in a window maximized/custom sized
And an option to have/enable Areo Glass/transparent.

I'm a fan of Windows 8/Server 2012 just want to be able to use GPPrefs to send shortcuts to the metro start screen which is redirected. That's a fix in my book until these issues are ironed out businesses will struggle to deploy.

Ah my people. Let's face it Group Policy Preferences needs to be updated quite a bit. They where introduced right before Vista went RTM. Have you noticed you have used 12 year old group policy settings and language to control some actions on the Start Screen? MS needs to focus on a completely new AD infrastructure and GP settings in Windows 9.

As for the Apps it's really up to the user. The core ones will update whether you are signed into the store with a MS account or not. Plus out of date apps pose no security risk. However, the fact that each user on the same machine needs to do this is a little crazy especially as app sizes get larger.

It rather looks like they are "finishing" Windows 8. That is that they had a vision for Windows 8 they didn't fully realise for their ship date, so they polished what they had. Now they are improving it.

singularity87 said,
It rather looks like they are "finishing" Windows 8. That is that they had a vision for Windows 8 they didn't fully realise for their ship date, so they polished what they had. Now they are improving it.

maybe the reason for firing Sinofsky. yes he shipped windows 8,but didn't implement everything in the vision. maybe he didn't play with the phone team,thats why just now they are unifying everything.

vcfan said,

maybe the reason for firing Sinofsky. yes he shipped windows 8,but didn't implement everything in the vision. maybe he didn't play with the phone team,thats why just now they are unifying everything.


Sinofsky was well known to be the guy who, among other bad habits, always delivered on time although cutting things short ( Ribbon in Outlook for example).

It's hard to tell from the screenshots, but did they get rid of the slight inner bevel on tiles and go with a more flat look, a la Windows Phone? (I hope so.)

Looks like that is what accent color controls though, so theoretically you could set accent color to the same as bg color and get the same effect? I have no idea... but that's what it looks like to me.

Some obvious and great improvements there, my tablet is looking forward to side by side metro apps. Might download this just for that.

HUE SLIDER ON START SCREEN?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. YEEEEEEEEEEEES!

Me and some people kept joking during development that Microsoft kept refusing to use the certain shade of green their organization's logo uses as a color option. Well, this changes things...

I see Microsoft is still fixated on tiles and the touch-screen milieu. What about the rest of us, who can't afford to or choose not to discard perfectly good hardware just to get touch screens?

TsarNikky said,
I see Microsoft is still fixated on tiles and the touch-screen milieu. What about the rest of us, who can't afford to or choose not to discard perfectly good hardware just to get touch screens?

I use Windows 8 on a non-touch device as well, works just fine. You could say it isnt optimized for it but I never felt Windows 7 was optimized for the touchpad on my laptop either.

There is also a reason why Microsoft is focusing on touch. They own the PC market but they're behind when it comes to touch devices. Touch input is easier and less prone to RSI. It's clear that the consumer market will be touch in the near future. Microsoft stands to lose their near-monopoly on the consumer market if they continue to ignore touch.

Its not about ignoring touch, its that Microsoft made a conscious effort to ignore choice. All they needed to do was give it to people like every version of Windows before and the P.R. nightmare wouldn't have ever sprung up.

MVD said,
Its not about ignoring touch, its that Microsoft made a conscious effort to ignore choice. All they needed to do was give it to people like every version of Windows before and the P.R. nightmare wouldn't have ever sprung up.

Choice? Choice for what? I don't ever remember having the ability to strip out Explorer and replacing it with a shell of my choosing, why do you think we've ever had choice?

Dot Matrix said,

Choice? Choice for what? I don't ever remember having the ability to strip out Explorer and replacing it with a shell of my choosing, why do you think we've ever had choice?


It isn't build in, but you can still strip out Explorer and use a shell of your own.

TsarNikky said,
I see Microsoft is still fixated on tiles and the touch-screen milieu. What about the rest of us, who can't afford to or choose not to discard perfectly good hardware just to get touch screens?

If you are having an issue using Windows 8, then I think you should look at the user. I do not have touch screen and I use Windows 8 just fine.

Microsoft is looking towards the future, not backwards. They understand that computing is going to be more mobile (laptops, tablets, phones, etc...) in the future than it is now. Desktops as we know them "now" will slowly die off in favor of mobile computing. A consistent look and feel across mobile devices will be a good thing.

It is still not what the majority of what users want. They want the return of the Classic Start menu. They want quicker access to Computer Explorer. A colleagues wife nearly went insane when he tried to explain to his wife how to find computer explorer.

The other option is to have a special group with these classics accessibly default.

Mr. Dee said,
It is still not what the majority of what users want. They want the return of the Classic Start menu. They want quicker access to Computer Explorer. A colleagues wife nearly went insane when he tried to explain to his wife how to find computer explorer.

The other option is to have a special group with these classics accessibly default.

Please, just let the start menu die, its quite clear it reached its maximum value in Win 7 and MS had hit a wall, they created the start screen and now with blue, have absolutely smashed down the wall. For the record you can access file explorer via clicking the task bar shortcut, Win + E, Win X e, Win X click file explorer, and about 50 million other ways.

Mr. Dee said,
A colleagues wife nearly went insane when he tried to explain to his wife how to find computer explorer.

Pin it to the desktop.
Pin it to the taskbar.
Pin it to the start screen.
Type "comp" and press enter on the start screen.
Type "file" and press enter on the start screen.
Right click on the new start button and select "file explorer".

There is an obscenely large number of ways to easily accomplish that task.

Regrettably Microsoft has become more and more arrogant and imperious. They have forgotten the concept of giving users (customers) the choice of UI to use. Rather, they have decided to serve those who are lost in the rapture of tablets and touch screens.

Just right-click in the lower left corner (or press Windows Key + X) in Windows 8.
There is no faster way in previous Windows versions to access "advanced" features such as file explorer, control panel, command prompt etc.

rfirth said,

Pin it to the desktop.
Pin it to the taskbar.
Pin it to the start screen.
Type "comp" and press enter on the start screen.
Type "file" and press enter on the start screen.
Right click on the new start button and select "file explorer".

There is an obscenely large number of ways to easily accomplish that task.

Chicken and Egg answer. How are they suppose to know this when they never used the OS before? For the average user thats asking a lot, but for someone like you me on a Windows Enthusiast website with 'win' in its name who probably work in IT and love exploring, its elmentary to both of us. Don't assume everyone is like you and me.

Mr. Dee said,
It is still not what the majority of what users want. They want the return of the Classic Start menu. They want quicker access to Computer Explorer.

and what authority are you to say that's what the majority wants? that's what you want. the majority of windows users,backed by real usage statistics shows that they never touched the start menu. it aint coming back,and that's a good thing.

ingramator said,

Please, just let the start menu die, its quite clear it reached its maximum value in Win 7 and MS had hit a wall, they created the start screen and now with blue, have absolutely smashed down the wall. For the record you can access file explorer via clicking the task bar shortcut, Win + E, Win X e, Win X click file explorer, and about 50 million other ways.

Start screen is a dead concept that hit a wall before it was even finished.

Mr. Dee said,
It is still not what the majority of what users want. They want the return of the Classic Start menu. They want quicker access to Computer Explorer. A colleagues wife nearly went insane when he tried to explain to his wife how to find computer explorer.

The other option is to have a special group with these classics accessibly default.

I believe it was pinned to the desktop taskbar, If I'm remembering right but if you worked with "the majority", you would already know that they very seldom use the start menu (they click on the desktop icon and if it's there isn't an icon on the desktop, they would ask you to make one).

Mr. Dee said,
It is still not what the majority of what users want. They want the return of the Classic Start menu. They want quicker access to Computer Explorer. A colleagues wife nearly went insane when he tried to explain to his wife how to find computer explorer.

This is Neowin. Start menu is an "old solution", and there is nothing that you can say to change this idea. Sales number means nothing. Real user base means nothing. Its' better, get over it.
I think that on old Apple communities it was the same.
I think this is sad.

TsarNikky said,
Regrettably Microsoft has become more and more arrogant and imperious. They have forgotten the concept of giving users (customers) the choice of UI to use. Rather, they have decided to serve those who are lost in the rapture of tablets and touch screens.

Um... Microsoft has always supplied one and only one GUI with Windows. If you don't like Windows 7 GUI, you're stuck with it unless you install 3rd party software. But at least you have that capability.

ingramator said,

Please, just let the start menu die, its quite clear it reached its maximum value in Win 7 and MS had hit a wall, they created the start screen and now with blue, have absolutely smashed down the wall. For the record you can access file explorer via clicking the task bar shortcut, Win + E, Win X e, Win X click file explorer, and about 50 million other ways.

I don't think it's the lack of a start menu, if microsoft would have replaced it with something that is less user-hostile then so be it, or at least give the user a choice to use the old start menu but the way it looks now Ballmer still hates the average pc user and wants to continue to force his heavily flawed "vision" onto the masses.

Windows 8 has already completely failed with consumers, repeating the same mistakes that made it a failure is not going to magically make it a success.

ModernMech said,

Um... Microsoft has always supplied one and only one GUI with Windows. If you don't like Windows 7 GUI, you're stuck with it unless you install 3rd party software. But at least you have that capability.

And the windows 7 GUI just plain works and is not user-hostile, unlike windows 8.

vcfan said,

and what authority are you to say that's what the majority wants? that's what you want. the majority of windows users,backed by real usage statistics shows that they never touched the start menu. it aint coming back,and that's a good thing.

Yes, lets all believe the overblown arrogance of Ballmer and his own in-house statistics. /s

TsarNikky said,
Regrettably Microsoft has become more and more arrogant and imperious. They have forgotten the concept of giving users (customers) the choice of UI to use. Rather, they have decided to serve those who are lost in the rapture of tablets and touch screens.

Cause Windows 7 had so many UI choice!
Aero, Basic and high contrast... oh wow mate, really good argument to be hating on Windows 8, which has a whole ONE UI less! But comes with Metro, so +1. Makes it 3 UI choices vs Windows 7 3 UI choices.

But please try again

(And Basic is still part of Windows 8 btw, you just cant enable it.)

vcfan said,
the majority of windows users,backed by real usage statistics shows that they never touched the start menu. it aint coming back,and that's a good thing.

Every time one of the MS drone regulars here spouts the alleged "fact" about people supposedly not using the start menu in the past, I laugh myself sick. Nevermind the guy that alleged the stat had the most riding on people believing it (conflict of interests much), but consider the Microsoft logic being unintentionally exposed here:

"Boss, stats show most people don't use the start menu."

"A-ha! Then let us make it FULL SCREEN so it is inescapable! Then they'll have no choice!"

/sales

Order_66 said,

And the windows 7 GUI just plain works and is not user-hostile, unlike windows 8.


Hmm.
Strange cause the only difference in UI I see from Windows 7 currently. (no 3rd party software to modify it)
Is a missing start orb. (button still there)
Nice clean square windows.
No useless distracting see-through every-friggin-where and not 3rd party software badly using this see-through (it looked horrible in Fx).

And uhm...

Oh wait the rest is exactly the goddamn same.
Have you even used Windows 8?
Haters be hating?

TsarNikky said,
Regrettably Microsoft has become more and more arrogant and imperious. They have forgotten the concept of giving users (customers) the choice of UI to use. Rather, they have decided to serve those who are lost in the rapture of tablets and touch screens.

Really? I don't remember ever getting the choice of UI to use before. That's strange, where was that option hiding?

MVD said,

Every time one of the MS drone regulars here spouts the alleged "fact" about people supposedly not using the start menu in the past, I laugh myself sick. Nevermind the guy that alleged the stat had the most riding on it being true (talk about a conflict of interests), but consider the Microsoft logic here:

"Boss, stats show most people don't use the start menu."

"A-ha! Then let's make it FULL SCREEN and inescapable! Then they'll have no choice!"

/sales

You are aware Windows Vista and Windows 7 do 'usage tracking' and track what parts of the OS are used, have issues, are put pressure on, what isn't used, what needs to be improved.
The whole hordes of Linux evangelists couldn't shut up about it about Microsoft's "Spying".
Microsoft has tons and tons of information on how people use computers, more then ANYONE else in the world. Noone comes close.

But you don't trust the biggest knowledgebase in the world about personal computing.

Dot Matrix said,

Really? I don't remember ever getting the choice of UI to use before. That's strange, where was that option hiding?


You can completely strip out Explorer and run your own shell on top of Windows.

What's that? Not leaving choice?

Order_66 said,

And the windows 7 GUI just plain works and is not user-hostile, unlike windows 8.

This is your opinion. Some people didn't like the Windows 7 start menu and wanted the classic start menu back. Some people didn't like the lack of an "up directory" button in explorer. Some people didn't like Aero and the default skins. This gave rise to third party utilities such as Classic Shell and various Stardock utilities to fill in the gaps.

You love to point to the number of start menu replacements for Windows 8 as proof of its inadequacy. Well I would direct you to the myriad GUI enhancements, add-ons, and replacements for Windows 7 as proof of its own inadequacy.

ModernMech said,

This is your opinion. Some people didn't like the Windows 7 start menu and wanted the classic start menu back.

And they could easily enable the classic start menu because the customer used to have a choice on what they prefer.

ModernMech said,

You love to point to the number of start menu replacements for Windows 8 as proof of its inadequacy. Well I would direct you to the myriad GUI enhancements, add-ons, and replacements for Windows 7 as proof of its own inadequacy.

But 7 didn't fail at retail, 8 is a colossal failure at retail, customers are avoiding 8 in droves at the retail level, that why 8 has a lower adoption rate than even Vista had, that's why mac sales are up, that's why 8 is still sitting at a laughable 3.77% today, even Lenovo has stopped installing 8 on their enterprise machines (and the failures of 8 goes on and on)

Yes there are many enhancements for 7 however you are forgetting that 7 was a hit, is still a hit, the only ones using these enhancements are people who simply want to "enhance" their experience with 7, nothing more.

Order_66 said,

And they could easily enable the classic start menu because the customer used to have a choice on what they prefer.

Actually, Windows 7 users didn't really have a choice until Classic Shell..

Order_66 said,

But 7 didn't fail at retail, 8 is a colossal failure at retail, customers are avoiding 8 in droves at the retail level

It doesn't matter how much rubbish you make up, it doesn't make you right.

Order_66 said,

And they could easily enable the classic start menu because the customer used to have a choice on what they prefer.

Please provide the exact steps in Windows 7 that will enable the classic start menu. I'm searching and searching and Google keeps telling me it was completely removed from Windows 7. But since you're telling me Windows 7 was all about user choice and freedom, I must be missing something.

But 7 didn't fail at retail, 8 is a colossal failure at retail

If Windows 8 was a failure at retail, so was Windows 7. You know as well as I do Windows 8 licenses are selling as fast as Windows 7 licenses. You simply refuse to admit those licenses are finding their way to customers. Here's another fact for you: According to Gartner, Q42012 saw more PC sales worldwide than Q42009 when Windows 7 was launched. Statcounter tells us that since Oct 26, Windows 7 market share has been falling, and Windows 8 market share has been increasing. Put these two facts together and it means OEMs are selling the Windows 8 licenses they are buying from Microsoft.

that why 8 has a lower adoption rate than even Vista had

Still parroting this I see. You should know better.

that's why mac sales are up

So let me get this straight... mac sales are up slightly, yet their market share growth is close to zero and this is a sign the platform is prospering. Meanwhile Windows 8 is selling on millions of PCs every month (actual sales, not just OEM license sales), is the fastest growing OS including iOS and Android on tablets, and yet according to you it's a complete failure? How does that work?

that's why 8 is still sitting at a laughable 3.77% today

According to statcounter, 4.56% as of yesterday. Counting just desktop operating systems, 4.90%. Counting just Windows operating systems, 5.34%. Also you'll be loathe to know Windows 8 just surpassed iPad market share last week according to Statcounter. Apple has been growing that market share since 2010 and Windows 8 beat it in 5 months. What a colossal failure iPad is, if Windows 8 is a failure as well.

Even Lenovo has stopped installing 8 on their enterprise machines

You are misquoting the article. They haven't stopped offering Windows 8 at all, and it's installed by default on many of their workstation computers. But this neglects to mention the fact that a) the same was true with Windows 7, when enterprise customers wanted Windows XP still and b) enterprise customers usually image their hardware anyway.

ModernMech said,

Please provide the exact steps in Windows 7 that will enable the classic start menu. I'm searching and searching and Google keeps telling me it was completely removed from Windows 7. But since you're telling me Windows 7 was all about user choice and freedom, I must be missing something.

Simply go to personalize, select windows classic, right click on start menu, select personalize and set it up exactly how you want it.
One could argue semantics about this method not being an exact clone of the classic start menu however by all accounts it's the exact same thing.

I'm not even going to bother to reply to the rest of your zealot drivel, you have lost each and every argument you have ever tried to start with me regarding windows 8 already, no sense in wasting any more time time on your zealot banter and stalkerish love letters.

Okay, so basically:

a) you can't restore the classic start menu in Windows 7. By "classic" people are referring to the fly out menu a la Windows XP. This was removed in Windows 7. If you want to call actual substantial functional differences "semantics" and "by all accounts the same", then go right ahead. But that doesn't help the who want a true classic start menu in Windows 7.

b) I didn't realize you were the comments section referee. Sorry, you don't get to decide who "wins" and "loses" arguments. It's up to the reader of these comments to decide whose position is more logical and well-founded. They get to read your point of view and the evidence you provide, and my point of view and the evidence I provide, and use logic and reasoning to build their own inferences. That's the nature of discourse and communication.

If you're satisfied with your shallow and unsubstantiated quips about how Windows 8 is a collasal failure, and think that somehow you're "winning" some imaginary contest, by all means, turn tail and run every time I put the actual merits of your posts under scrutiny. I'll leave it to the readers to decide.

Nice improvement. Is there a way to change the color of individual tiles? Like let's say I wanted them all to be a certain color?

I. Can't. WAIT!

Looks like they have done a lot of good work. 50/50 snap, S-tiles, I did not expect it to have XL tiles to, but I'm fine whit that! And ofcourse IE11. The colors aren't realy useful for me, I'm happy with the build in green-grey patron. I hope they bring out a beta in April.

This is great, imagine if they had fixed Vista within a years time. The fact that MS is making major interface adjustments within a years time is solid evidence of a faster moving company. There is nothing bad about this, it's all good. Keep the leaks coming, love this stuff.

I wish they would give us the ability to put a large text label on a Tile. I have a few too many folks that are simply lost on the screen and unable to identify their own tiles. I'd like to be able to label SPORTS in large letters, and have the choice to have it labeled or not.

The other thing I would love to see, would be to add the 3 little dots found on WinPhone that indicate more options on the screen. That would be a huge step and a very simple one. I still don't understand the unnecessary "hide and seek" act. You can't do that to the neophytes.

jimmyfal said,
This is great, imagine if they had fixed Vista within a years time. The fact that MS is making major interface adjustments within a years time is solid evidence of a faster moving company. There is nothing bad about this, it's all good. Keep the leaks coming, love this stuff.

I wish they would give us the ability to put a large text label on a Tile. I have a few too many folks that are simply lost on the screen and unable to identify their own tiles. I'd like to be able to label SPORTS in large letters, and have the choice to have it labeled or not.

The other thing I would love to see, would be to add the 3 little dots found on WinPhone that indicate more options on the screen. That would be a huge step and a very simple one. I still don't understand the unnecessary "hide and seek" act. You can't do that to the neophytes.

The gestures are the same throughout the entire interface. In my experience it only takes a couple of hours to get used to it. From that point on such dots would be unncessary but I can see where you're coming from. It would be a smart addition as long as you can disable them.

People are stil complaining about apps not having a search function because they fail to understand the charms work throughout the entire machine and that basic stuff like search and settings have different purposes depending on what app you have open.

But IMO I wish WP8 and W8 would move more toward each other. They both have their pros and cons. I think W8's hidden UI is a pro but the way WP8 puts all its games together is a pro for WP8. Etc.

jimmyfal said,
The other thing I would love to see, would be to add the 3 little dots found on WinPhone that indicate more options on the screen. That would be a huge step and a very simple one. I still don't understand the unnecessary "hide and seek" act. You can't do that to the neophytes.

I blame Jensen Harris, who did something very similar for the Office 2007 Ribbon. Specifically, he put in that round thing at the top-left (the "orb"). Lots of novice computers users couldn't figure out that it was clickable, so they thought that there was no way to Print or Save As.

In Office 2010, they replaced the orb with a tab called "File." Suddenly, even novice computer users could figure out that it was clickable.

I think it's fine to hide things in version 4 or 5, after people have already gotten used to it. Very few people were confused that Windows Vista's start menu didn't have the word "Start" on it -- but that's because it did say "Start" for the previous 11 years. But doing it in version 1 is needlessly sadistic.

In my opinion, any design that Jensen Harris comes up with should immediately be put before a 65-year-old retiree, for evaluation. If that person complains about not being able to find a feature, then a label should be added.

It's funny because one of the first things I point out to iPhone users on WinPho is the fact that you don't have to guess what the little pictures mean, you can always tap the dots to find out, whereas with an iphone you have to tap to find out, then there is no obvious back button.

When they removed the word START from the button on Vista, and put the "Orb" in the ribbon on Office, my head practically exploded with anger. I have to tell people over the phone or in lists how to do things, and when you remove the word "file" and are then forced to have to explain the *(ucking ORB), who up there doesn't get how stupid that is? Serious WTF on that front. If Jensen were standing in front of me when I first saw the ORB I would have grabbed him by the neck and never stopped shaking him.

This looks nice!! I only wish Microsoft would allow custom tile colors, say all tiles would be the same color or just light or/and darker shades of the same color. I don't mind the multi-color tiles but I would prefer just one color.

I can't wait for the Windows Blue videos to hit YouTube! :-)

I really like what I'm seeing!

The ability to make tiles much large is something I've been wanting from the start. On a large monitor it just makes sense. I would love to put my picture tile on double wide.

Another thing that I welcome is the ability to multi-task with a split in the middle. Its basically the only way I've ever multitasked on Windows (95 to W7). Combined with Windows 8's curent multitasking capabilities it meets my multitasking demands.

Tyler R. said,
That does look nice! This is what W8 should have been in the first place.

It's not even remotely close to what windows 8 should have been in the first place.

Microsoft continues on its downward spiral of treating the average user with hatred and contempt while promoting nothing more than the overblown arrogance of Ballmer and his heavily flawed/failed views of the future.

Order_66 said,

It's not even remotely close to what windows 8 should have been in the first place.

Microsoft continues on its downward spiral of treating the average user with hatred and contempt while promoting nothing more than the overblown arrogance of Ballmer and his heavily flawed/failed views of the future.


Average user... The average user does not give a damn!
And of many that do, its just because their 'more tech savvy' friends told them so.
I use Windows 8 exactly like I did Windows 7, I only visit metro apps to see if there's anything interesting, although there is.. I still prefer my desktop apps.. but maybe with time this will change (hopefully 1 or 2 Skype updates away and I can drop the Skype desktop )

Can we stop complaining about something you are NOT forced to use, you can almost completely ignore! Only part I use is the start screen since its nothing more then a combined desktop/start menu. So I got 2 things I used in Windows 7... now in 1 simple screen.

Stay with Windows 7, go to OSX or learn Linux and don't use Windows 8. Dismiss any advantages it gives, continue to cry about features you're not forced to use(and can customize or even disable with 3rd party software) and less visually has changed then from Vista to 7.

@ Order 66 - I agree. It's still a long way off , but it is a very good start at getting things set straight. You have to remember that this is only milestone 1, so more polish, improvements, and tweaks are still to come. Personally, I'm still holding off until Windows 9 and sticking with Windows 7 Ultimate.

Shadowzz said,

Average user... The average user does not give a damn!

Obviously they do, and that is one of the reasons why windows 8 has failed.

amazing... they have huge big squares... now they have little ones... that are icon size... wonder how many more changes until we end up with what we have with windows 7... and then it's praised as new and amazing.

firey said,
amazing... they have huge big squares... now they have little ones... that are icon size... wonder how many more changes until we end up with what we have with windows 7... and then it's praised as new and amazing.

It looks nothing like Windows 7 and small tiles can also be live. I personally woudnt use the small ones but it makes sense to provide people with choice. Microsoft has always said they'll continue to expend upon the features of Windows 8. Besides this is a much needed addition if they want to move W8 and WP8 more towards each other.

Which is something that I applaud because right now my Windows Phone is my primary computer (it has taken over the largest part of my computer activities). I'm stil waiting for the day that I can put my phone next to a display and have the UI transfer to the big screen. I know Ubuntu is going for that, and I'll stay informed about it but right now I think Ubuntu's UI looks terrible.

Oh shut up.

The kernel has been updated, so theres many changes under the hood.

It comes with IE11.

It will merge RT/8/Windows Phone development closer.

You can snap up to 4 apps now.

And they have completely changed the PC Settings screen, adding LOTS of new options to Metro: http://www.microsoftcollection...039;/6.3.9364.0/English/Pro

Almost every screen there has been changed, renamed, and new screens/options added. You also now have completely new options including stuff for network settings. Right now on 8 you have to go to the desktop to change many settings, which isn't ideal at all on a touch device and was a major complaint. This is now fixed.

You NEVER see this many new options/features added to a new version of Android, iOS, or OSX. And this is just an early incomplete build. MS should be praised for this, they've done more already than i expected.

Infact if you compare this update to Vista > 7, then MS have already made more changes.

W32.Backdoor.KillAV.E said,
Oh shut up.

The kernel has been updated, so theres many changes under the hood.

It comes with IE11.

It will merge RT/8/Windows Phone development closer.

You can snap up to 4 apps now.

And they have completely changed the PC Settings screen, adding LOTS of new options to Metro: http://www.microsoftcollection...039;/6.3.9364.0/English/Pro

Almost every screen there has been changed, renamed, and new screens/options added. You also now have completely new options including stuff for network settings. Right now on 8 you have to go to the desktop to change many settings, which isn't ideal at all on a touch device and was a major complaint. This is now fixed.

You NEVER see this many new options/features added to a new version of Android, iOS, or OSX. And this is just an early incomplete build. MS should be praised for this, they've done more already than i expected.

Infact if you compare this update to Vista > 7, then MS have already made more changes.


Just curious.... What changes made to help bring RT/8/Windows Phone development closer?

tanjiajun_34 said,

Just curious.... What changes made to help bring RT/8/Windows Phone development closer?

Well i'm guessing they will share even more of the same API's and features. Theres not much info on this yet but it's widely known MS are working on this for Blue.

I know this will annoy some of you but for the average customer smaller tiles isn't going to make them like Blue anymore than 8.. When they do upgrade their desktops it will be due a hardware upgrade not software.

That's usually the case anyway. Upgrades have always paled into insignificance compared to OEM sales (Windows coming with new devices).

zikalify said,
I know this will annoy some of you but for the average customer smaller tiles isn't going to make them like Blue anymore than 8.. When they do upgrade their desktops it will be due a hardware upgrade not software.

And when they do upgrade their hardware they will continue to ask for something with windows 7 on it just as they have been doing since the release of windows 8, it happens several times a day still, already happened twice this morning at my workplace.

Order_66 said,

And when they do upgrade their hardware they will continue to ask for something with windows 7 on it just as they have been doing since the release of windows 8, it happens several times a day still, already happened twice this morning at my workplace.

Yes, this would explain why Windows 7 market share has been decreasing since the day Windows 8 was released according to statcounter.

What I have been wanting to see for AGES... Windows key + (left + up arrow) (left + down arrow) (right + up arrow) (right + down arrow)

I want 4 desktop windows snapped into the corners to make 4 windows on one screen.

Thats a LOT of new features on the PC settings screen. They've changed and even renamed pretty much every settings screens, and added new options to almost everything. Impressive.

REALLY nice to see those network settings screens as well because right now on 8 you have to go to desktop to change network stuff, which is unacceptable using a touch device. This is all better than i expected.

This and the fact you can now snap 3 and 4 apps should be mentioned in this article.

Imagine going to the Olympic stadium and singing with ancient Babylonians while holding five footballs in a yogurt pot.

Can't wait to watch people praise Windows Blue in the same way they did with Windows 7.
Microsoft works on enhancing the Modern style , hope they work over the mouse/keyboard interactions too.

And Start Menu will probably dissapear with Windows 7.

Windows 7 was praised because Windows Vista had horrible performance as well as driver support in the beginning and 7 fixed all that. This isn't why people have problems with Windows 8. So unless Microsoft tears off Metro / Modern UI from it and makes booting into it optional, it won't be praised. Not from the large group of people criticizing Windows 8 right now anyway. They aren't upset because "Oh man, I wish I could configure the colors in Metro more and swipes worked better!"

maxslaterrobins said,
Have to say, Windows Blue does look very nice (and that's coming from a devout OS X user).

It looks like they've done a real good job on polishing the OS up. This is comparable to Windows 7's visual overhaul over Vista!

Oh please, it looks like Windows 8. Its simply the giddiness and hype of a new build on the scene thats causing you to say that. Don't fall for it. By this time next year you will be complaining it could have been better. Not until Microsoft corrects what needs to be corrected and do what users tell them by putting back the Start menu as an option, there will always be opposition to Windows 8. The fact that Windows 7 user base is still growing (800 million +) and Windows XP users are not upgrading to new machines, shows that Microsoft needs to follow the philosophy of Windows 7 where it was the users who decided, not the committee.

Their stubbornness will only give in as much as it has to. They're determined to push their new model into widespread acceptance. I'm sure their hoping for a Netflix like resurgence. I wonder if they realize people use their products in spite of their philosophy...not because of it.

Some of the improvements will definitely be appreciated (different tile sizes, half-split apps, more customisation options) but I don't see anything substantial - nothing that will win over current sceptics. I don't see anything that would make me want to use Metro apps more than I currently do, which is to say very rarely.

What I'd like to see is the ability to run Metro apps in a window, like the Stardock application does. I'd also like to see improvements to the Start Screen and user logon, as currently they're quite unattractive. And the UI between the desktop and Metro should be consistent - that means using the same mouse gestures and taskbar / task switcher. And they desperately need to get rid of the empty screen that occurs when you side-snap a Metro app - put the desktop or Start Screen there, but don't leave it blank.

Mr. Dee said,
Not until Microsoft corrects what needs to be corrected and do what users tell them by putting back the Start menu as an option, there will always be opposition to Windows 8.

You already have the option to add back the start menu. This has been covered ad nauseam. Microsoft has two options with their OS: 1) bake in every possible switch, option and feature from every previous Windows release into the OS to satiate every permutation of complaints about which features are and aren't available, consequently adding bloat, potential bugs, and security concerns; or 2) allow each user to modify his OS to his liking by extending it with 3rd party software. They have chosen the latter, and I'm *sure* if they had gone route 1 we'd be hearing a new set of things to complain about, like the aforementioned bloat.

The fact that Windows 7 user base is still growing (800 million +)

Not according to statcounter. Windows 7 market share has been declining since October 26, 2012... the day Windows 8 was released. Even if the user base is increasing, Windows 8 is increasing faster.

Microsoft needs to follow the philosophy of Windows 7 where it was the users who decided, not the committee.

Was this the same "user chooses" philosophy that removed the classic start menu in Windows 7? There were plenty of people who bitched and moaned about that decision. And how is the user not able to choose a start menu in Windows 8, when there are dozens available online to install? Microsoft not adding a default option has actually *increased* user choice in which start menu they would like to install. Please explain to me again how this is a bad thing.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Some of the improvements will definitely be appreciated (different tile sizes, half-split apps, more customisation options) but I don't see anything substantial - nothing that will win over current sceptics. I don't see anything that would make me want to use Metro apps more than I currently do, which is to say very rarely.

What I'd like to see is the ability to run Metro apps in a window, like the Stardock application does. I'd also like to see improvements to the Start Screen and user logon, as currently they're quite unattractive. And the UI between the desktop and Metro should be consistent - that means using the same mouse gestures and taskbar / task switcher. And they desperately need to get rid of the empty screen that occurs when you side-snap a Metro app - put the desktop or Start Screen there, but don't leave it blank.


I think we should wait at least until M3 or even Beta to get an overall idea of what this Blue will really be. M1 is an early stage in development.

Fritzly said,
I think we should wait at least until M3 or even Beta to get an overall idea of what this Blue will really be. M1 is an early stage in development.

I appreciate that. I was merely commenting based upon what we know currently, and a previous article which mentioned that no substantial UI changes were expected.

Mr. Dee said,
Oh please, it looks like Windows 8. Its simply the giddiness and hype of a new build on the scene thats causing you to say that. Don't fall for it. By this time next year you will be complaining it could have been better. Not until Microsoft corrects what needs to be corrected and do what users tell them by putting back the Start menu as an option, there will always be opposition to Windows 8. The fact that Windows 7 user base is still growing (800 million +) and Windows XP users are not upgrading to new machines, shows that Microsoft needs to follow the philosophy of Windows 7 where it was the users who decided, not the committee.

Start Menu is dead man, for the love of all things just let it go.

theyarecomingforyou said,
Some of the improvements will definitely be appreciated (different tile sizes, half-split apps, more customisation options) but I don't see anything substantial - nothing that will win over current sceptics. I don't see anything that would make me want to use Metro apps more than I currently do, which is to say very rarely.

What I'd like to see is the ability to run Metro apps in a window, like the Stardock application does. I'd also like to see improvements to the Start Screen and user logon, as currently they're quite unattractive. And the UI between the desktop and Metro should be consistent - that means using the same mouse gestures and taskbar / task switcher. And they desperately need to get rid of the empty screen that occurs when you side-snap a Metro app - put the desktop or Start Screen there, but don't leave it blank.

I think what you want is a completely new OS overhaul. Clearly, you're forcing yourself to like Windows 8, even with those horrible UI mistakes.
I'm sorry to say, but the ugliness and lack of common sense will continue for another version.
Maybe when Microsoft become even more irrelevant in two years from now, then they will start fixing the BS they're tossing us now. But then it could be too late.

ModernMech said,
You already have the option to add back the start menu. This has been covered ad nauseam. Microsoft has two options with their OS: 1) bake in every possible switch, option and feature from every previous Windows release into the OS to satiate every permutation of complaints about which features are and aren't available, consequently adding bloat, potential bugs, and security concerns;

"Every possible permutation". Please. This is very simple. There is only one 'permutation' that would've removed 99% of the P.R. nightmare they're finding themselves in:

Metro: Enable/Disable

Third party start menu emulators were an unintended side effect, not a longterm solution, so stop making it out like they're a credit to MS for tolerating them for now.

Edited by MVD, Mar 24 2013, 4:00pm :

AJerman said,

And then Windows is next.

Windows is [are] already on the way out. The obsession with fullscreen only is taking over.
The next version might as well just be called "Screen".

MVD said,

"Every possible permutation". Please. This is very simple. There is only one 'permutation' that would've removed 99% of the P.R. nightmare they're finding themselves in:

Metro: Enable/Disable

Third party start menu emulators were an unintended side effect, not a longterm solution, so stop making it out like they're a credit to MS for tolerating them for now.

So, if Start Menu emulators aren't a long term solution, then how is adding back in the Start Menu a long term solution?

theyarecomingforyou said,

I appreciate that. I was merely commenting based upon what we know currently, and a previous article which mentioned that no substantial UI changes were expected.


Do not misunderstand my comment, it was not a critic just a thought based on how MS proceeded with previous OSes....
It seems that they are rearranging the Control Panel options which is a very welcome addition IMO.

Dot Matrix said,

So, if Start Menu emulators aren't a long term solution, then how is adding back in the Start Menu a long term solution?

Because its what many people are asking for, and coming from MS would mean the product isn't broken out of the box in many peoples eyes, including enterprise decision makers which are leery about a third party band-aid fix that MS could patch out at any time.

I realize you've got a job to do here and ra-ra Metro with constant doublespeak but this really isn't rocket science. If Metro was so great and MS really believed in it then they didn't need to remove the disable Metro switch, plain and simple. The rise of the third party startmenu cottage industry with millions upon millions of downloads is an embarrassment for MS, not a win.

MVD said,

There is only one 'permutation' that would've removed 99% of the P.R. nightmare they're finding themselves in:
Metro: Enable/Disable

And what exactly would this have changed about the current situation that we are in? Right now you can currently completely disable metro and add a start menu. Microsoft adding a built in switch changes nothing.

Third party start menu emulators were an unintended side effect, not a longterm solution, so stop making it out like they're a credit to MS. They're simply tolerating them - for now.

Third party start menu emulators are a consequence of Windows being an Operating System... a platform built from the ground up to enable the use of third party software. Microsoft has decided clearly and unequivocally that they do not intend to develop a start menu further. But they left the door WIDE open for anyone who wants to. This certainly is a credit to Microsoft for making the OS open enough to allow such things, unlike say iOS. This extensibility has existed throughout the history of Windows, and there is no reason or indication to believe it shouldn't continue to exist aside from paranoid tin-foil hat syndrome.

No one is taking your start menu away. It's just coming from a different vendor now. It's so interesting, the amount of contempt some of you show for MS, yet you desire, nay, demand that they be the sole vendor for your OS components.

MVD said,

Because its what many people are asking for, and coming from MS would mean the product isn't broken out of the box in many peoples eyes, including enterprise decision makers

Broken out of the box? What exactly is that supposed to mean in the context of an OS? So because Windows doesn't do something I need by default, it's broken? So it doesn't include a first party autocad solution, it's broken. It doesn't include a first party photoshop out of the box... broken. Doesn't include the drivers for my printer out of the box... broken.

No the point of Windows is to enable the use of third party software. That's the whole CONCEPT of an operating system. No one uses Windows for the sake of using Windows. You buy the OS and then you install the software you need to fit your usage. This includes autocad, printer drivers, and yes even application launchers like start menu replacements.

band-aid fix that MS could patch out at any time.

If you're worried about Microsoft "patching out" start menu replacements at any time, the same worry applies to any piece of third party software you install on the machine. It's Microsoft's platform and software is built on top of it. They don't test against every piece of software on the planet. They could potentially break Photoshop one day with a patch, but that's the nature of an Operating System.

MVD said,

Because its what many people are asking for, and coming from MS would mean the product isn't broken out of the box in many peoples eyes, including enterprise decision makers which are leery about a third party band-aid fix that MS could patch out at any time.

I realize you've got a job to do here and ra-ra Metro with constant doublespeak but this really isn't rocket science. If Metro was so great and MS really believed in it then they didn't need to remove the disable Metro switch, plain and simple. The rise of the third party startmenu cottage industry with millions upon millions of downloads is an embarrassment for MS, not a win.

It's clear the Start Screen is the way forward. The changes in the Screen from RTM to Blue is clear that the Start Menu won't be coming back. It reached the end of its life, and now it's time to move on.

You want to hold onto it for dear life? Use a third party app then, but there is no reason for Microsoft to continue wasting their time with dead code. THey have other things they want to focus on.