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Windows Blue leak shows changes large and small

In an alleged newly leaked build, the Windows 8 Start screen appears with both bigger and smaller Live Tile setups, an additional snap view, and new personalization options. It also shows a hint of IE 11.

Windows Blue Start screen by CNET

More tidbits are leaking out about the kinds of changes to expect from Windows Blue, the next big release of Microsoft's signature operating system.

In what is referred to as a prerelease version dubbed Build 9364, the Windows 8 Start screen appears with both larger and smaller Live Tile setups, increased user control over color personalization, new options in style settings, and an additional snap view to let users place apps side by side in a 50-50 arrangement, according to Tom Warren at the Verge, citing screenshots posted today to the Polish language Winforum site.

"Microsoft appears to be adding all of the necessary settings required to ensure tablet users don't have to drop to the desktop Control Panel to change things," Warren wrote.

Internet Explorer 11 also makes an appearance in the purported new build, at least in name. In addition, there are allegedly changes coming to Charms, including new "play" and screenshot options, and new options for the SkyDrive service.

A public preview of Windows Blue is expected in the next couple of months, according to Mary Jo Foley at our sister site ZDNet. And Blue isn't just the code name for the next version of Windows 8, but also for updates to Windows Phone, Windows Server, and Windows Services, Foley has said.

Other recent leaks about Windows Blue have suggested "dramatic" extensions to the touch capabilities in Windows and improvements to the speech-recognition feature in Windows Phones.

Windows Blue is also expected to offer improvements to the power efficiency of devices running the operating system.

(Via the Verge)