By Luke Westaway
A Chinese version of the Windows 8 Release Preview has spilled out online, revealing a few interesting tidbits about the next version of Windows ahead of the Release Preview’s proper debut, The Verge reports.
Chief among those new features is word of updated Metro-style Sports, Travel and News apps, as well as details like cursors, wallpapers and the operating system’s boot screen.
Desktop improvements for customers using more than one monitor are said to be in place too, while PCWorld reports the leaked build brings tweaks to the platform’s mail application, making it easier to tell which missives you’ve already read. The Start menu is still gone though, sorry folks.
Microsoft has been working all year on its follow-up to Windows 7, which is designed to work equally well on desktop PCs as it is on touchscreen tablets. A radical visual overhaul is one aspect of that, with a flattened desktop complimenting the tile-based Metro interface Microsoft’s borrowed from Windows Phone.
If you’re keen to try the Release Preview — which is a version to showcase Windows 8 ahead of its proper launch later in the year — you’d be better off waiting until the official Release Preview comes out, which Microsoft has said will happen in the first week of June.
That’s just a few days away, so sit tight Windows fans. In the meantime, you could read our guide on how to install Windows 8 alongside your existing operating system, or if you’ve only got a minute, why not examine the new Windows 8 logo? We also have a guide to the three flavours that the software will come in.
Making Windows 8 a success will be a mammoth task for Microsoft. As well as crafting an operating system that works with tablets, the Redmond software giant has to keep the great sprawling mass of current Windows users satisfied. That’s a delicate balance to strike, especially when seemingly minor changes like ditching the Start menu could see whole businesses put off upgrading.