Two new leaked Windows 9 screenshots show good news for users of traditional PCs -- it looks as if the operating system will actually be useful for them, and not just for those with touch-based devices. I've got screenshots and details.
The site myce got its hands on two new screenshots purportedly from Windows Threshold, the code name for the next version of Windows. There's no guarantee that these are real, although a number of Web sites, including the Verge, report they are authentic. myce reports that these new screenshots were from build 9795, compiled on July 13, and from the team responsible for interface design and windowed apps. You'll note that the screenshots are labeled as Windows 8, but that's nothing more than a placeholder.
One of them shows the new Start menu, and it still looks much like the one that Microsoft showed off at its Build conference in April. If you're a user of a desktop or laptop rather than a tablet, you'll be pleased. In addition to the traditional Start screen features, such as a built-in search box, application listings, and so on, there are a number of Metro-style apps pinned to it. That goes a long way toward unifying the two disparate Windows interfaces, the Start screen with its Metro-style apps, and the desktop. From the Start menu, it will be easy to see and launch both desktop apps and Metro-style apps.
The other leaked screenshot shows the Windows Store app running on the desktop. What's the big deal, you might ask? The big deal is that it's in its own window, rather than running full screen. So when you use the desktop, you'll be able to run, see and switch between desktop apps and Metro-style apps. It's what Windows 8 should have been in the first place.
The next version of Windows is expected by early 2015. If these screenshots are accurate, I wish it would get here sooner.