In the last couple of weeks, we have been reporting about leaked Windows 9/Threshold builds with their build numbers. Today, screenshots of the Windows Threshold build got leaked on the web. It includes the much awaited Start Menu which doesn’t differ much from what we have seen in the past. Also present in the new build is the Windowed modern apps that will act as a boon to Desktop users who wants use Modern apps with ease. Myce.com claims that these are UIP team labs, The build pictured in the screenshots, build 9795, was compiled on July 13th and is part of the uip_dev feature build lab (FBL). UIP stands for User Interface & Platform so it is basically just the team responsible for UX changes like the start menu and windowed apps plus some under the hood kernel changes. Source: Myce ...

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We all know that Microsoft is planning for a major Windows update in 2015 codenamed ‘Threshold’. Before Windows Threshold update, Microsoft has planned a minor update for Windows 8.1 called Windows 8.1 update 1. We recently reported about a rumor in which there is a possibility that Microsoft might offer a special edition Windows targeted towards enterprise that will allow users to disable Start screen completely. Also, depending upon the device in which Windows is installed, the Start screen/Start menu option will vary. For example, desktop users can completely avoid Start screen with the help of the upcoming Start Menu which will include Live Tiles and windowing of Modern UI apps. Today, Winsupersite reported that our understanding on this feature is wrong. The new Start Screen will actually replace Start Screen and it is not an option which users can disable. You will be able to maximize the Start menu so ...

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Microsoft recently got their patent for one of the most unique thing on Windows 8, its Start Screen. Yes, Live Tiles arranged on a background is now patented by Microsoft. In 2011, Microsoft got their patent on Windows Phone Start Screen UI. You can read about it here. You can find the two patents related to Windows Phone Start Screen UI here and here. Recently, Samsung announced a new Magazine UX for its tablets. It is basically a tweaked version of Windows 8 Start experience. Yes, you got large Live Tiles for different apps which you can arrange on your home screen similar to what Windows 8.1 provides to users now. I guess, patents like this might stop companies like Samsung from copying their designs. Source:USPTO via: Winbeta ...

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Yesterday, we reported about a new rumor that Windows 9 is coming in October this year as opposed to the previous reports that claimed Windows 9 is coming only in April 2015. Windows 9 will include some major fixes to the Metro design language and also some improvements to better integrate desktop and metro apps. Today, WZor posted screenshots of early Windows 8.1 2014 Update builds. It revealed one noticeable feature that many were complaining about, you can now pin Windows Store apps to taskbar. If you are among the millions of people who spend most of the time on classic desktop screen and rely on couple of Metro apps, this is a great feature. As you can see in the screenshot below, Windows Store app is pinned to the taskbar. Windows 8.1 2014 Update leaked build no. is 6.3.9600.16596.WINBLUES14_GDR_LEAN.140114-0237. via: WZOR ...

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Yesterday, Paul Thurrott reported that Microsoft is planning to bring back Start Menu is the upcoming update for Windows 8. This move from Microsoft is targeted towards power users who use keyboards and mice. It would be similar to the current Windows 7 Start Screen allowing users to access their apps, folders, etc,. Maary Jo Foley today confirmed that Start Menu is coming back and it is internally known as “mini-Start”. Since Thurrott’s initial December 10 report on the return of the Start Menu, I’ve heard from my own contacts that this is highly likely to happen. Microsoft is, indeed, highly likely to bring back Start Menu. Supposedly it’s being called internally “mini-Start,” (as it won’t be a full-screen Start Menu like in Windows 8), one of my contacts said. Are you really looking forward to this upcoming Start Menu? Source: ZDNet ...

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Windows 8.1 Enterprise now includes a new feature called Start screen control. This is for IT admins to would like to control the Start screen layout for group of users and preventing them from making changed to the layout. For example, IT admin can decide to always have Office apps tiles on the start screen. How to do this? So you arrange the layout like so: Once arranged, you can export this layout into an XML file using a simple PowerShell command: PS C:\> Export-StartLayout –As XML –Path \\contoso-mgmt\Layouts$\ManagedUser.xml Next, you can specify a path to this layout file using Active Directory Group Policy. From the Group Policy Management Editor, navigate to “User Configuration \ Policies \ Administrator Templates \ Start Menu and Taskbar” where you can find the “Start Screen Layout” policy setting: Enable this setting and specify the path to the layout file that you exported using PowerShell. (Make sure to ...

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In Windows 8 devices, the Start Screen always had the Desktop tile pinned by default. It allowed users to quickly move in and out of desktop mode from the Start screen. However, Microsoft has a different view on this and the Desktop tile is no longer part of the default tiles pinned in the Start Screen of Windows RT 8.1 devices. Users can always pin it again, but I think it is yet another step from Microsoft to move users away from traditional desktop mode. Microsoft provided the following statement regarding this action, “The only desktop apps without modern versions which run on RT are the Office apps: Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. In order to streamline access to them, we pinned those apps directly to the first page of Start. Clicking any of these takes you directly to that Desktop app. You can also bring up the switch list ...

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To celebrate the launch of new Windows 8.1 update, Microsoft has announced a new campaign that will run for next 8 days. Microsoft will pick 810 random winners per day who tweet and share their new Start screen from their Windows 8.1 device with the #MyStart hashtag. How to take screenshot of your Start Screen?  To take a screenshot of your Start screen in Windows 8.1, open up the Share charm from your Start screen and tap or click the down arrow next to “Start” and choose “Screenshot” (shown above). Alternatively, you can press the Windows logo key + PrtScn on your keyboard or if you’re using a tablet, press the Windows logo button + the volume down button. What winners will get? Winners will receive a $10 promotional Windows Store gift card to get started with great Windows apps and games. Microsoft will be inform winners via Direct Message ...

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Yesterday, Microsoft published a lengthy blog post reflecting on people’s negative feedback about the new Start Screen in Windows 8. Here is a summary of what they wrote: Issues Microsoft DID confront and refute Usability with a Mouse Efficiency is on the top of Microsoft’s mind. When considering mouse mileage (distance mouse has to move), target size, loading time, parsing time, and mouse click counts, there is a net gain of efficiency in the Start Screen. They admit there will be a slight transitional period where users will have to learn the new screen, but they expect it to take no longer than a few hours, days, or, at most, weeks. For example, users discover the ability to simply type to search on the Start Screen within hours of using the beta. Next, they discuss Fitts Law, which is commonly applied to software design. The law essentially says that the ...

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