Microsoft Windows Blue To Tweak the Start Screen, Add New Apps

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A high-level company executive went on the record today to say just a bit about an upcoming update to Windows 8. Recent unconfirmed reports have said much more, including that the look and feel is going to change a bit.

Rather than depending on occasional monumental changes to its operating system, Microsoft is going to start making more incremental changes to Windows. A blog post today from Frank X. Shaw, the company’s Corporate Vice President of Corporate Communications, said, “This continuous development cycle is the new normal across Microsoft – we?ll tune everyday experiences as well as introduce bold, connected and exciting new scenarios.”

He went on to confirm earlier reports that first of these is code-named Blue.

What the Rumors Say

While Shaw didn’t reveal any of the details Windows Blue, several early versions of it have leaked out, giving the world an early look at some of the upcoming enhancments.

Windows 8 BlueOne of the more notable changes supposedly coming is the ability to resize the active tiles on the Start Screen. Those who have used Windows Phone, should already be familiar with this, but it’s a feature that has yet made the jump to tablets.

Users will have a choice of large, medium, and small icons. But there will be an exception: the tile to open the Desktop can be made extra large.

According to an early version of this operating system that has leaked out, Microsoft is going to make it faster to customize the appearance of the Start Screen. Many other preferences will also be modifiable from “My PC” in the Start Screen without having to go to the Desktop.

More Tweaks

Those who already use Windows 8 will likely be pleased to hear that Blue will include the ability to easily display two applications side-by-side, equally sharing the screen. The current option for this gives one app a much larger proportion of the display.

SkyDrive is apparently going to be more integrated into Windows, so that images can be automatically uploaded or entire devices automatically backed up.

Microsoft is adding some new apps to Windows Blue: alarms, a calculator, audio recorder, and Movie Moments. Users will also be given the option to place an icon for the camera app on the Unlock Screen.

Source: The Verge



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