If you’re using Windows 8, you’re about to get a big upgrade. In June, Microsoft will roll out some big changes (Windows Blue) to their operating system that will significantly help the user. While it’s not available for download yet, a development version was leaked on the internet and us Nerds have had the time to check it out and analyze the features.
Refined Metro UI: The first improvements come on the surface. Most of the tweaks to the operating system are refining the metro UI, and not the base of the operating system itself. The upgrade, nicknamed Windows Blue, adds the ability to make the home screen tiles smaller. It also allows you to change color options, including primary and accent colors.
IE 11: Internet Explorer 11 is getting a new download manager as well as the ability to sync your tabs across all your devices, a feature pioneered and standardized by Mozilla and Google. However, Microsoft has expanded this experience to the start screen as well as your paired devices, like headsets or mice. That means if you have a Windows 8 desktop, tablet, and phone, you can keep your experience the same.
Quiet Hours: You’ll also have the ability to set quiet hours for the notification center, a feature common on Android phones. Many of Microsoft’s improvements to this operating system focus on making a unified user experience – that is, people using Windows 8 will be able to recognize their content no matter which device they are using.
In A Snap: On the desktop and tablet side, Windows Blue is also getting improved snapping options. You’ll be able to snap at ¼, ¾, as well as ½ in both directions. Previous versions only had two snapping options. This upgrade allows for more efficient multi-tasking.
Aside from cosmetics, Windows Blue offers mostly security updates, but also adds four new apps: an alarm, a sound recorder, a calculator, and a video trimmer. All have very basic functionality but will likely evolve with the operating system, as this version is a very early test version.
When the final upgrade rolls out in June, expect to see a lot more features! Which makes us computer repair Nerds very happy!