Keep your eyes open in the coming months as Microsoft has announced it plans to release a preview of Windows Blue in June. The trial, which offers a look at a major overhaul to Windows 8’s user interface and settings, will be offered free to anyone with a valid copy of Windows 8.
While the official trial won’t be released until mid-summer, an unfinished build was recently leaked online giving fast torrenters a sneak peak. While the leaked version was by no means complete, it did showcase a number of exciting features such as split-screen app snapping, enhances customization of the start screen, better PC Settings options, a new version of Internet Explorer and better SkyDrive integration. There were even a few new apps included.
While the new features on display in the leaked build are cause for excitement, rumors of as-yet-unseen features are creating most of the buzz. Rumor has it that Microsoft is toying with the idea of including a straight to desktop feature that would allow users to bypass the Start screen on boot up. A potential return of the Start button has also been discussed, though the button would lead to the same Start screen, the old Start menu will not be coming back.
This new 8.1 build of Windows marks the beginning of a new release cycle for Microsoft products. Rather than offering an entirely new operating system every four or five years, Microsoft plans to offer smaller upgrades yearly, which is more along the lines of its competitors.