A leaked build of Windows 8.1 reveals a near-finished version of the Windows 8 update, which includes new features that are aimed toward first-time users of Microsoft’s latest operating system.
We’ve already taken Windows 8.1 for a spin – a couple of times already – when Microsoft provided a preview of the update back in June at the company’s annual Build developer conference, but, according to the Verge, this latest leaked version (build 9741) reveals several new usability features. New in Windows 8.1 will be a tutorial mode that provides helpful video clips to teach first-time users how to navigate their way around Windows 8, including how to access settings, launch apps, and get to different screens.
This new Windows 8.1 build also reminds new users about certain tasks that they can perform to more easily navigate around the OS, such as reminder pop-ups that tell users they can swipe in from the right to reveal the Charms bar and the Start button.
Furthermore, the leaked build takes a page from the Windows Phone book, bringing a series of three dots that reveal the context menu in certain apps, like Mail, People, and Calendar. Tapping on these dots give you access to more settings. Just like with the Charms bar, context menus in Windows 8 have only been discoverable by chance, with no solid direction as to how to access these features right off the bat, which was a big complaint for new users in the past.
New backgrounds for the Start screen have also been added to this latest build. These provide a parallax effect when scrolling across the screen, where the wallpaper moves along with the scrolling, similar to that of Android wallpapers.
This leaked build is likely the last version of Windows 8.1 before Microsoft sends out the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) version to computer makers, which is expected to happen later this month.
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