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Windows 8 sneak peek – what bloggers have failed to show you

Windows 8 leaks

Windows 8 has had some details and screenshots leaked that give us some great insight into how the new operating system (OS) will work. And it is impressive. What strikes us the most is that it’s not just two or three tweaks or new colors with a new version number slapped on it, the infrastructure has changed considerably.

We are most impressed that the new OS will make your desktop operate more like a smartphone whereas in the past, the opposite has been sought. The two are finally blending in a really sexy way.

Smartphone-like tiles

Technologist Paul Therrot said, “Windows 8’s worst-kept secret, perhaps, is that it will include a Windows Phone-inspired, Metro-like, tiles-based user interface as an alternative to the more mainstream Aero and Aero Lite (formerly Aero Basic) UIs. Aimed at small, touch-based devices like tablets and phones, this new UI, called Immersive, is also one of Windows 8’s most locked-down features. And in the recently leaked builds, it’s proven impossible, so far, to unlock.”

Immersive Internet Explorer

The version of Internet Explorer that is said to be released with Windows 8 will look and act like Windows Phone’s mobile browser but will use the desktop IE renderer, so for example, you’ll see your history in square full color thumbnails in new tabs.

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Thurrot said, “Currently, this application–which, oddly enough, is not currently implemented as a Windows Phone-style AppX application package like some other new Windows 8 apps–operates only at 640 x 480, and cannot be resized. It’s likely that this application is designed to run full screen only and that the limitations we’re currently seeing are because we’re running outside of its intended native Immersive environment.”

Native PDF reader

Rather than relying on Adobe or Nitro, Windows 8 will include its own PDF reader called “Modern Reader” and we have to say that it’s pretty sexy. It’s fully functional with the traditional zoom in/out, but the way it lays out is more intuitive.

New login inspired by Windows Phone 7

The new login page is very similar to the Windows Phone 7 lock screen and appears that you can change the background image while the time, date and power management icons remain as they are placed. We love the giant typography and the modern look, it’s a huge step up from tradition.

Mysterious ribbons, the most controversial move

Windows 8 will put into place more ribbons which is the new navigation feature you’ve already seen in Microsoft Office instead of the endless navigation bar menu dropdowns, offering most commonly used options first and up front. Some tech blogs are focusing on this feature which we believe is less newsworthy than the above points, but we won’t waste much energy on ribbons as internally, no final decision has been made to implement this feature and there is a lot of infighting about it, so it might not make the cut.

The takeaway:

What you should know is that Windows 8 is conforming to smartphone user interface which is a huge move for such a traditional, mature company. With the rise of the Android OS, Microsoft has to come up with a way to regain some of their marketshare in mobile and this could just be the very way to do it- a crossover OS.

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What do you think of the sneak peek of what we’ve shown you above?

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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