Just in case the Tweet Choir left a bad taste in your mouth, here’s a quick refresher on something during the Microsoft CES 2012 keynote that actually mattered: the Windows 8 demo by Tami Reller, Chief Marketing Officer of the Windows division.
Although the 10-minute long demo does not reveal any breaking new features or functionality, there’s a number of subtle and interesting changes in this unidentified build of Windows 8 compared to the Developer Preview released four months ago. Here are some of the ones I spotted.
- It looks like custom accent colors are finally enabled with the teal-colored background. Like Windows Phone, the accent color is used throughout the OS including but not limited to just the panoramic wallpaper.
- Start tile for the first-party Camera app (unfortunately not demoed).
- Lockscreen showcased additional icons for messaging and calendar (apps stripped from the Developer Preview).
- Additional button in the bottom/right corner when using the mouse on the Start screen, activates semantic zoom.
- The music app is officially listed as the “Microsoft Music App” in the Start menu search. As one Twitterer quips, “There’s no stopping Microsoft’s creative-naming train.“
- Placeholders in the Windows Store might be hinting at the third-party apps that will be available for the beta in February: Evernote, Cut the Rope, eBay, Pixel Lab, Toy Soldiers, Pinball FX 2, PiratesLoveDaisies, Wordament, Never Mind the Bullets, Air Craft, Animoto, Picstream, Inkpad, Notespace, Notify Me, Invensys SimSci-Esscor, Carmen Sandiego 4, BarMax ($999 fake app), The Telegraph, AccuWeather, Conde Nast collection, iCookBook, Stocks, Piano, Grantophone, Kobo and USA Today.
- In Metro Internet Explorer, the page icon has been changed into a spanner settings icon.
- The virtual keyboard had its CTRL and special-characters buttons swapped (from CTRL/123 to 123/CTRL). The smiley button also has vertical lines around it.
- The desktop’s taskbar had a gray opaque treatment making it blend in much better with the new dark and flat Start-button
If anyone else wants to put on their Sherlock cap too, here’s a gallery of the screencaps I was able to extract from the webcast.