Leaked Windows 8 Screenshots Reveal New Features

By Marius Oiaga on March 4th, 2011 08:13 GMT

New leaked screenshots from an early development milestone of Windows 8 offer a glimpse at the operating system’s evolution.

While information and images delivering sneak peeks at Windows vNext have already made their way in the wild, the latest leaks include the first comprehensive details revealing tangible advancements for the successor of Windows 7.

Even before Windows 8 hit Milestone 3, Microsoft has baked in changes to the Taskbar, driver installation and Cloud integration.

I’ve included some screenshots with this article, courtesy of Win7China, via our friend Ankur Mittal.

Right off the bat, I must say that while the images do not contain a cohesive view of the evolution of Windows 8, they do reveal some progress of the development process, even at a stage in which Windows vNext is extremely similar to its predecessor, having yet to grow into its own.

Changes include visual cues for the installation of new drivers. Windows 7 users are undoubtedly familiar with the way that a copy operation is associated with a progress bar on the platform’s Taskbar for the window in which the operation occurs.

It appears that Windows 8 will be able to deliver the same visual representation of progress for additional actions, including driver installation.

Windows 7 users receive only a notification of the fact that a new device driver is being installed automatically by the operating system.

With Windows 8, customers will have an idea of not only when the installation started, but how far along until completion it is, receiving visual feedback from the OS.

Another aspect of the Taskbar’s evolution seems to be related to the integration of Windows Live deeper inside Windows 8.

Microsoft is reportedly working to allow Windows 8 users to connect their local accounts with their Windows Live identities.

There will be a new element added to the Taskbar, illustrative of the Windows 8 – Windows Live bridge, as well as the option to have visual representations throughout the operating system, such as an account image.

According to the source of the leaked screenshots, the details have been snapped from Windows 8 Build 7910.winmain.110111-1804, which is a Milestone 2 release, compiled on January 11, 2011.

Reports have indicated that Microsoft already moved past M2, and started the coding work for  Windows 8 M3 on February 28th, with the first Beta Build expected later this year.
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