This week I’m doing a list of some of the rumours (of leaks) of what is coming in the Release Preview of Windows 8, which is being released in the first week of June this year:
- A new default lock screen picture (see http://bit.ly/Ju3osq and you’ll see the new lock screen picture)
- A green Windows Store icon (well, it’s green in the latest builds)
- A flatter looking Windows Explorer (see the shot below from Paul Thurrott)
- Some small IE10 desktop and charms bar changes
- New cursors
- A generally more metro-y desktop – as you can see in the above shot of Windows Explorer, the close and minimize buttons look a bit more metro-y, aiming to ease the transitions between the Start screen and apps and the desktop.
- Performance improvements – less bugs, much more finished than the Consumer Preview.
- A tutorial – there was a lot of confusion from non-tech people on how to use Windows 8 (see here and here for 2 examples), so Microsoft will be including tutorials in either the RP or maybe just the final product.
- Microsoft (formerly Windows Live) Family Safety built-in – see here for more information.
- Better apps – the Mail, Calendar, Weather etc. apps were all app previews in the Consumer Preview builds. They were really basic, and really early in development – the RP is going to have much closer to final versions of these apps. Below is a screenshot (from a Microsoft video) showing a new look for the mail app:
I’ve probably missed a lot of things that are changing, but these are at least some. The Release Preview is going to be just that – a preview of the final product of Windows 8, much more finished than the Consumer Preview. I’m not expecting there to be multiple product editions in the RP (there are going to be 2 though in the final product – Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro), but I expect it to be the equivalent of Windows 8 Pro.
So, the countdown is on. Less than a month to go! (P.S. do let me know if I have missed anything!)