What we know about Windows Blue

Last year, Microsoft launched some incredible devices and services for its business and consumer customers. It then, immediately started working on plans to advance those devices and services, a project it referred internally as Windows Blue. Most tech and Windows enthusiasts predicted the project would come as a significant update to Windows 8, perhaps as an upgrade to the OS. And we now see the speculations eventually materializing.

Now that Microsoft has officially talked of Windows Blue, we thought that it might be a good time to know what is Windows Blue and what is known about it. Microsoft via its Technet stated:

Now, we look ahead. With a remarkable foundation of products in market and a clear view of how we will evolve the company, product leaders across Microsoft are working together on plans to advance our devices and services, a set of plans referred to internally as ‘Blue’ .

Windows Blue

windows-blue-1

Windows Blue can be considered as an update to the most recent version of Windows – Windows 8 that includes multi-tasking and UI improvements. Changes, essentially to be featured in Windows Blue are highlighted and mentioned in brief, below:

Interface

On Interface front, some good and useful changes have been made. You can now customize the Start Screen with different size tiles. Earlier, you only had 2 basic Live Tile sizing options:

  1. A medium-sized square
  2. larger rectangle which was nothing but the size of 2 small squares combined.

With Windows Blue the scenario has changed a bit. There’s introduction of two new tile sizes. One’s a square that’s a quarter of the size of Windows medium Tiles, while the other is a larger Tile, as large as 2 Windows 8’s larger rectangular tiles combined. The additional sizing options has thus offered a bit more customization flexibility, reports WinForums.

tiles size

Customize button

With additional sizing options for tiles a new customize button too has been introduced. The new button will make the process of rearranging Live Tiles in Windows Start Screen a step longer. How? Windows Blue won’t allow you to rearrange tiles unless you right-click on an empty portion of the desktop and click a brand-new Customize button.

Running apps side-by-side

The Windows Blue leak adds a 50/50 snapping option, i.e. the ability to run two apps side-by-side with the same application width. Earlier, it was 75/25 split.

50-50  snap

Personalization options

A multitude of new personalization options have been incorporated in Windows Blue. This includes a broader range of color and background customization options. There’s a new ‘Play’ option added under Devices, and the Share charm now includes a screenshot option.

new play option

PC Settings expanded

PC settings now see many of the options hidden within the Control Panel.

Improved SkyDrive

Hidden under the new SkyDrive section of the PC Settings, you can now find ‘Files’ submenu. This is indicative of the addition of a file-syncing option in Windows Blue.

Internet Explorer 11

Internet Explorer 11, you can say is the early iteration of Microsoft’s next-gen proprietary web browser. Functions more or less remains the same however, there appears a new ‘More options’, buried deep inside. Its functions are not yet known to us.

Internet Explorer 11

New apps

Alongside the usual tiles you can now find 4 brand new apps on the Windows Blue Start screen: Alarms, Calculate, Sound Recorder, and Movie Moments.

new apps

Microsoft does plan to release Windows Blue Public Preview, at Build Conference in June 2013.

WinBeta has released this video about Windows Blue. Do check it out!

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The author Hemant Saxena is a post-graduate in bio-technology and has an immense interest in following Windows, Office and other technology developments. Quiet by nature, he is an avid Lacrosse player. Creating a System Restore Point first before installing a new software, and being careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware is recommended.