Microsoft Windows 8.1 (Blue) Hits the Internet

The highly anticipated release of Windows 8 back in fall of 2012 saw a thorough overhaul of the Graphical User Interface of the popular operating system. Software giant Microsoft completely revamped the design and functionality of its flagship product by introducing a brand new “Metro” app interface which constantly displays updated information in the form of live tile, and built in windows monitoring software to boost system security without having the need to install a third party security suites like McAfee and Norton.

Windows 8, despite its steep learning curve, was well received by both fans and critics alike upon its release. Much to the chagrin of its early users; the OS eliminated some of its familiar functions like the iconic “Start” button which had become synonymous with its previous versions. However, it’s improved boot times and power management options proved to be a big hit among the masses. The accompanying Windows App Store was lauded for containing important productivity apps which had made its iOS counterpart such a resounding success.

Windows Blue Rumors

If the latest rounds of rumors are to be believed, Microsoft’s latest iteration of Windows 8 titled Windows Blue has leaked onto the internet, and is currently available as a 2.7GB download on several file sharing and torrent sites as an ISO image. Being dubbed as 100% legitimate by experts; the supposed partner build contains numerous tweaks to the UI which will significantly improve user experience and security to help counter malwares, spywares and viruses.

Here’s a glance at some features that have been discovered in Windows Blue so far that have geeks discussing them endlessly on social media websites:

Snap

Introduced in Windows 8, the snap feature felt like a half-hearted attempt at app multitasking. Snapping an app to the edge of the screen took up 75% of the screen real estate for one app while the other was reduced to a measly 25%. Windows Blue addresses that issue by allotting an equal amount of screen space to both apps, simultaneously allowing parallel running of both programs. This snappy multitasking feature is yet to be seen on Android and iOS powered devices. The 50/50 snapping ability is a total winner.

Sky Drive

Unlike its desktop version, Windows Blue Sky Drive app features a Files submenu hidden under the PC Settings button which hints towards a file syncing option in the upcoming version. Even though pressing the button doesn’t lead to a function; it has, however, given hope for a more efficient Sky Drive app.

Internet Explorer 11

Microsoft’s much touted browser might have had the lion’s share of the browser market at one point of time but the momentum has tipped in Google’s favor ever since they entered the competition with the reliable and efficient Chrome. One reason given by tech commentators for IE’s recent downfall has been its vulnerability. The latest iteration of Internet Explorer in Windows Blue aims to up its game and give the users a smooth and improved ease-of-access functionality and a more robust security.

Tile Resizing

Windows Blue offers further customizability of Live Tiles found on the Metro Interface. Apart from the traditional large sized rectangular tiles which can be shrunk to half their size to form a square, Blue will enable users to further reduce the size of the Live Tiles to a quarter of the size of the square tile, and expand the large rectangular tile to become twice its size.

This control over Live Tile resizing will prove to be a huge plus point as one will be able to draft a start screen of his choice to prioritize his most commonly used apps making them more accessible and efficient.

Windows Blue promises to be a more reliable and vastly improved version of Windows 8. Here’s hoping the stable release lives up to the expectations of its loyal followers.

This post was last modified on December 19, 2016 9:22 PM

Natalia David:

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