The last time we glimpsed Windows 8 was all the way back at CES, and calling it a glimpse is generous: All Steve Ballmer would show us at the Microsoft keynote was the OS running natively on ARM processors – which speaks to its compatibility, but failed to show off even a hint about what the UI would be like.
Today a fairly trusted Windows blog, Win7China, is revealing alleged screenshots of the upcoming Windows release (the photos were also published by WinRumors). Fortunately, Windows 8 could be here as soon as June. Unfortunately, the images don’t reveal much about the upgrade. Let’s remember that Ballmer has all but said Windows 8 is a game changer, so he’s created some lofty expectations.
The set of files starts off with one reading “Shhh…let’s not leak our hard work” followed by shots of what we could be seeing in a few months.
We get a look at the Default Pictures folder coming to Windows 8. It’s extremely reminiscent of Windows 7’s photo viewer format, but at least there are some obvious differences, like video options for your account image. In the photo below, you’ll also see that the bottom right of the desktop. According to Win7China, Windows 8 is furthering cloud integration and you will be able to use a Windows Live account to access Windows 8.
The taskbar appears nearly identical to that of Windows 7, which also includes Windows Live integration. The other difference you can see is that the process indicator will show your progress with software and hardware – you can see in the demo it’s connecting the mouse.
Nothing extraordinary to see here, and much of what you’re seeing is obviously very subject to change. What might be more interesting is what Win7China had to say about the OS. It will apparently be an insanely fast install – approximately eight minutes – and we can expect a new restore feature that will reset the OS to its virginal state in a mere two minutes’ time.