Windows 8 leaks show Microsoft Mobile and Office influences
New version of Windows will include ‘ribbon’ navigation and features from Microsoft's mobile phone operating system
Microsoft’s strategy of unifying its various products looks set to continue with Windows 8: new images of the operating system’s welcome screen, for instance, draw on the Windows Phone 7 lock screen, while new navigation techniques used in Office 2010 look set to be extended to Windows Explorer for file management.
Respected bloggers and writers Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott have begun a series of blog posts exposing initial thoughts in the first build of Windows 8 that Microsoft is releasing to developers.
The ribbon was introduced in Microsoft’s latest version of Office to replace large numbers of menus. It gives instant access to common features.
Extending it to new versions of Windows itself would, for instance, allow quick synchronisation of files between machines and the cloud, as noted by other bloggers.
Further uses of cloud technology have been noted, with the inclusion of the Windows Live ID elsewhere in the new operating system, as well as the prospect of the Xbox’s motion-based Kinect sensor being integrated into PCs.
Microsoft is also known to be working on app store for Windows 8 and a back-up tool, similar to the Time Capsule that Apple offers.
The “tiles” that it uses for Windows Phone 7 are also expected to appear across different devices using new versions of Windows, including tablet PCs.
Also included will be a new PDF Reader and an “immersive” mode designed for tablets.
A public beta of Windows 8 is expected by the end of the year; the current leaks show the software at a very early stage of development.