Unlock Hidden Windows 8 Features

Microsoft has packed a few new features into the early development milestones of Windows 8, and while the company went to the trouble of hiding them, just a little bit of digging is sufficient to bring them to the surface.

Leaks from Windows 8 Milestone 1 (M1) have already revealed changes such as deeper integration of Ribbon / Fluent UI, a native PDF reader, a Task Manager and a Webcam App.

Windows 8 M1 Build 6.1.7850.0.winmain_win8m1.100922-1508 was recently leaked in the wild, but those that jumped the gun, downloaded and installed the platform didn’t get immediate access to all the new goodies offered by Microsoft.

To unlock hidden features in Windows 8 M1 build 7850 users will need to do some rather simple registry hacks (via MDL).

However, customers should be extremely careful when tweaking the registry, as changes can easily render the OS useless.

In order to enable webcam.exe in Windows 8, the following registry key should be modified: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\GRE_Initialize\.

Users will need to create this DWORD value: RemoteFontBootCacheFlags and set it 0x100f (4111) in order to unlock the Webcam Application.

It appears that Windows 8 will also ship with its built-in PDF reader, an application which was dubbed Modern Reader, although this might be a “working title.”

Modern Reader is governed by HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Applets\Paint\Capabilities.

After navigating to the registry mentioned above customers should create a new string value and label it "CLSID" - "{D3E34B21-9D75-101A-8C3D-00AA001A1652}." In order to launch Modern Reader they’ll have to run glcnd.exe.

After being introduced into some Windows 7 components such as Paint and Writer, the Ribbon / Fluent UI will be featured by additional default applications.

In order to enable Ribbon in more Windows 8 apps, HKEY_CLASS_ROOT\CLSID\{4F12FF5D-D319-4A79-8380-9CC80384DC08} should be modified.

Users can create a string value and label it “AppID” using the following value “{9198DA45-C7D5-4EFF-A726-78FC547DFF53}.”

Open Task Manager, kill the Explorer process, then run explorer.exe as via the New Task option and it will feature the new Ribbon / Fluent UI.

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