Windows Blue, the next version of Windows which will be the successor to Windows 8 has made its first appearance on camera. No, the start menu is not back, but there are a lot of changes in terms of usability, which reduce the probability of going to desktop mode often. There are noticeable changes to the start screen which now borrows the three different tile sizes from Windows Phone, small, medium and large. While the Desktop app can be sized to an extra-large tile as well, but that’s the only app that can do that.
The Verge was able to get a preview of the new OS which is still under development, here’s the video:
New in Windows Blue
The settings as well as various charms also get more functionality. The settings section now includes options for networking, default apps for various filetypes as well as new personalization option that allows you to change desktop defaults directly from the settings charm. Sharing also gets an overhaul, where you’d now be able to send screenshots or access the camera to send images taken with it, there are improvements to the lock screen which might use facial recognition and a yet unknown picture frame mode.
There are some new apps which will be part of Windows Blue, including an Alarms app, a calculator with scientific mode, a sound recorder tool and a movie making app that will replace the aging Windows Movie Maker. One of the things Microsoft is most keen on is deeper SkyDrive integration which is now part of the settings of Windows Blue and not just an app. It will have the ability to auto-upload photos and video alongwith backup entire drives to the cloud based on your preference. You also get additional snap views, instead of the current 2/3 and 1/3 app views. You can use two apps side by side as well as upto 4 apps on a large resolution display, which is one gripe from Windows 8 resolved.
Windows Blue looks like the perfect amalgamation of Windows Phone and the traditional Desktop, with Microsoft slowly removing our need to go to the Desktop app. This will be great for both users and Microsoft, as Windows 98 was truly a bold step in the right direction as people were becoming much more comfortable with their touch-screen devices, but the need to go to the cramped Desktop app again and again spoiled the innovation that is Windows 8. With Windows Blue Microsoft is trying to change the way we receive updates to our operating system, instead of waiting two-three years for a major Windows update with dramatic changes(aka Windows 7 to Windows 8), the company will focus on yearly upgrades which will bring new features to the OS which are easily digestible.