Microsoft working on smaller live tiles, new apps & greater multi-tasking for Windows 8 update

by Doug Drinkwater

March 25 2013

Windows Blue is expected to launch later in 2013
Windows Blue is expected to launch later in 2013

An early build of Windows Blue, the next version of Windows 8, leaked online over the weekend. Photos and videos of the new build suggest that Windows Blue will offer smaller live tiles, greater home-screen personalization and much more.

Screenshots of build number 9364 were posted on Winforum and were later made available to download on some file sharing websites.

These screenshots show that Microsoft is working on allowing users to pick between small, medium and large live tiles on Windows Blue -- something which is already possible on Windows 8 Phone -- as well more color personalization for the home-screen and the ability to view apps in a side-by-side format. This last feature will apparently allow users to run up to four apps side-by-side at the same time, according to The Verge.

The images also show updated apps for alarm, sound recorder and calculator, appear to indicate that Windows Blue will launch with a version of Internet Explorer 11, and hint at improvements to the charm menu for faster sharing and smoother multimedia playback.

Following the release of these screenshots, a short video on the update was published on YouTube. The downside of the video is that you’ll need to understand Polish to understand it.

Windows Blue is expected to launch as a public preview in the coming month with a view to a full release later in the year. Creative Strategies analyst Ben Bajarin has suggested that the OS could help Microsoft to introduce cheaper, 7- to 8-inch tablets.

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