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Windows 8.1 screenshots leaked, redesigns showcased

Today a collection of screenshots, showcasing redesigns within key Windows 8.1 applications, were leaked online. The shots showcase changes in the Windows Store and Xbox Music, along with brand new apps including a calendar, alarm clock, and voice recorder.

The newly leaked store design showcases an application “shelf” with more upfront descriptions. The new UI introduces more text to the interface and while it is still inspired by Microsoft’s modern design, it doesn’t have the close-feeling connection to the Windows Start screen that it previously had.

The new Store interface finally gives recommendations to similar apps based on what you are currently browsing. For example: If you are looking at the Xbox Music app, the store might also recommend Pandora or Slacker Radio.

In addition, the leaked screenshots reveal a major redesign to the Xbox Music interface to allow for faster browsing of your collection. One of the current problems with Microsoft’s music app is that while aesthetically pleasing, the arrangement isn’t the most optimal – particularly for keyboard and mouse users.

The new Xbox Music interface allows users to navigate their current content along the side, with the addition of an “explore” button and quick access to the “radio”. Microsoft’s Smart DJ service is most likely powering the radio service and if that is true – users won’t be disappointed.

The new “explore” option seems to display artists you may be interested in along with recently released albums (and judging from the screenshot and the list of “new” albums – this UI has been in the works for a while now).

Lastly, a few new Windows 8 applications have been leaked including a new voice recording application, a new metro styled calculator (standard and scientific), and a beautifully designed alarm app. These new applications should prevent users from getting booted to the desktop for common tasks. This is in line with Microsoft also adding more control panel options to its metro settings interface.

What do you think of Microsoft’s new styling choices – are they headed in the right direction?

Source: The Verge

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Comments

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sepatown says:

This looks really clean. Much needed redesign.

pippyo03 says:

I think so to

carlosrdd says:

Looks a little like touch timer in the store

cdb033 says:

It looks very clean.

That alarm clock looks amazing.

anassinator says:

Indeed. I hope WP8.1 gets it too

abel920 says:

It looks nice, but it takes up too much space.

Agent-P says:

Such a unique design. I like it.

webby7 says:

It was unique in the Nokia N9...

Nik Rolls says:

Was going to say the same thing ...

brunoland says:

This is one of the things where MS and Nokia are even more conected and working closely together:D
It's meego alarm clock and it's nice to see it on Lumia Nokia too.

Ohh so much metro in that alarm clock! Gimme gimme gimme

paulheu says:

The alarmclock is obviously a Nokia designed app.. It's a grown up version of the alarm clock app for the N9 really.

Nik Rolls says:

Agreed! Looks like they are sharing more than we thought.

azaright says:

What about the NOTIFICATION CENTER

rockstarzzz says:

Don't want one

TechyMexican says:

You want a Notification center on windows 8?

loofmodnar says:

I do. There are notifications afterall.

I think he has a point. It would be easier if there was atleast an app which kinda puts all the notifications in one place compared to scrolling through a list of live tile enabled apps to find missed notifications. Who knows maybe Microsoft will listen and add it to the RTM version of Windows 8.1.

RTFA before you go ahead post useless comments. This is about W8.1 not WP8.1

nMIK-3 says:

Indeed. Notification Center is along the most requested features for the Windows 8 as well (Same like the WP).
Its only a matter of time until they include it so it better come with the 8.1 rather than next year’s 8.2.
 
And in the end, I seriously do not understand why people get upset about the Notification Center and they are acting inappropriate. You do not need it and you are OK with the current disaster, which is going on with the current Notifications? Fine, keep using your system as it is never touch the Notification Center and that’s all.
 
Just because you are fine doesn't mean we are OK to hunt for notifications across our 5 miles Start Screens. Or just because you have 5 Apps installed doesn't mean others are working the same way.
 
So please respect the people that they are requesting the obvious.

fordcom says:

Second that

Adretheon says:

If that's the music app, then thank god. Looks much nicer

Graven Pshya says:

Yeah, it actually looks like an Xbox Music application. :)

While looks would be great....i want function first. As it is, its the 8 track of music programs.

Zeeshan360 says:

Xbox Music app is finally usable .. I didn't touch that since launch lol

sasukeluffy says:

Lol same here :D

Been all Music Info. That guy saved me from dumping my Surface. Loves my Surface but with no functioning music program, it was pointless for me...then Movie Premier saved me for Video organization.

pallentx says:

Xbox music has improved a lot, but it still needs work.

Want the alarm clock on Windows Phone, would love to set that as the lockscreen and have a live tile that looked like that.

iNaimish says:

This is all good for Tablet users. I personally think the windows 7 design is best for Computer users. Not gonna upgrade to Windows 8

Triple monitor gaming workstation with Windows 8. Power users wish they could multitask like me. You shouldn't listen to the FUD. The bloggers and whiners wouldn't know a truck if it hit them, and neither do you apparently.

My suggestion as a free thinker and skeptic, is so dig into the details a little further than the title of articles.

ymcpa says:

lucky for us windows 8 users that the desktop is basically windows 7 and we get to enjoy all the under the hood improvements.

paulheu says:

Well, the desktop environment in WIN8 is a vast improvement in speed, responsiveness and overall usability compared to WIN7.

vlad0 says:

Windows 8 is better than 7 in almost every way..

Andresuxx says:

At the beginning I used yo love all the metro designs but now I'm kinda bored of it, specially apps that have as a background just one and flat colour like the People Hub (w8 not wp), it looks boring, ugly and old. I hope they can realize that doing everything metro is also stressing.

Tbonium says:

Looks really good! Both the music player and calculator look great. I really hope that pressing the calculator key on my keyboard will open that instead of the boring Win7-style desktop calculator app like it does now.

elvisff says:

I'm thrilled they are redesigning the store. As of now searching through it is horrible, and too vague. They need to allow more specification in the categories while searching.

Graven Pshya says:

Yeah me too. I'm sure when they first started it was like "simple" then now looking back"It was too simple."

R0bR says:

It won't matter how well they design the store if they don't keep the info fresh, right now you can go days without seeing any new apps being promoted. I've seen new Live games for W8 announced here on WP Central days and even weeks before being promoted on the store.

elvisff says:

Baby steps I suppose

You got that right brother...never refreshes.

budney says:

I wish it would be released this week since I have a week off between terms. But I can't wait to get my hands on this update, it looks awesome!

xankazo says:

Nice! Can't wait to put my hands on the Preview! :)

Kidderkat says:

I have a mighty need!!

txaggie2016 says:

I'm looking forward to this! I installed W8 on my Dell laptop quite a while back and, while I never expected to get the full experience without a touch screen, I do hope they can find a way to make a few of the apps (like the Music app as stated above) a little more mouse / keyboard friendly and functional. I'm also very much looking forward to the Store redesign -- I definitely don't like how, upon first entering, there's just an endless horizontal scroll of categories.

Looking forward to the 8.1 update! I'm ready for these updates to hit my laptop and my Lumia 928!

bhinesley says:

Anything they do to the music app would be better than it is now.

nickengineer says:

Music App. I want it to find and list files off my NAS. That's where all my music is. So the whole family can share it. No point to using xbox music on Surface until this is sorted.

Nik Rolls says:

Just add your NAS to the music library. If Xbox Music doesn't allow it, then do it via the desktop. Then it will all show up. Works perfectly for me.

R0bR says:

You can't add a network location to your music library because it can't index it. The only way you can is if your NAS is a Windows Server, not many people use Windows as their NAS.

Completely agree. The NAS index issue is even more of a problem for my photos.
Not happy about this!

Jaco Ra says:

Xbox Music doesn't look metro but it looks good. I hope they update WP8.1's Xbox Music but keep the metro look

n3psydaz says:

Can't wait alienware to come with windows 8.1 . Will it be possible?

diod123 says:

Any computer running w8 will get a free upgrade to 8.1.

Jazmac says:

I like. Now bring it to my desktop.

AaHaa says:

I like it, but above all I hope they fix the "feature" in Xbox Music that messes with my carefully managed music data. Right now, it's one of the two choises:
1: Turn on the Xbox Music data download and enjoy artist biographies and pictures, but with messed up album titles and covers, "The" and "A" written with capital letters.
2: Turn of the Xbox Music data download and have all your music remain the same way (correct titles and covers), but without any artist biographies or pictures...

Thank you. I didn't understand why my data was getting screwed up. I can live without the bio's!

In my opinion, apart from the Store app that has too much text on it, everything looks great! Xbox Music and Alarm apps, principally :)

JRich442 says:

Looks like I may finally use the Xbox music app because right now it's just atrocious. Who am I kidding my Zune HD will never die!

xankazo says:

Can Xbox Music scrobble to Last.FM?

Fludlyt says:

Unfortunately it can't & I doubt Microsoft will see it as functionality they should add in the near future. I'm using MusicBee at the moment to scrobble to Last.fm.

DJCBS says:

I would prefer them to focus on performance improvements over design ones. Xbox Music, for example, is a terrible player (God, please, make them release a WMP App...). Integration of Office with the Tiles would be nice instead of making us jump to the desktop mode, which, in a touch screen interface, is a bit nightmarish. 

cybermoose89 says:

Very promising cant wait !

jlynnm350z says:

Man I want a surface pro so bad but can't afford it right now. Sucks to be me as I look down at my nexus 7. Tear drops down my left cheek.

I am really hoping that some sub 200 win 8 tablets will show up by the end of this year.

Dadstar0410 says:

Hope they improve Smart DJ. God, that's terrible right now. I'm forced to use Pandora for music discovery until DJ is fixed.

trmnrs says:

Beginning of the article says calendar instead of calculator...lol I was wondering why they would change the calendar again...

So fresh and so clean clean ⌒.⌒

wpcautobot says:

I think the new apps look great. The store, I think, still needs work. That's just an opinion from the tiny bits we have seen. Perhaps there'll be even better improvements. I just think the store has to be top notch in order for folks to find what they want, and explore new apps. Right now, I can't stand to browse app lists. I'd also like the ability to tell it I'm not interested in a particular app. This way, it could help me find what I do want.

I use Xbox music. I'm very excited for the revamp. Being able to easily create and manage playlists will be nice.

Regarding metro apps... We need a solution for large monitors. I have a 27" monitor and viewing full screen calculator and alarm clock isn't so helpful. The snap will help.

When does this drop!?

hutuka says:

Damn it Microsoft hurry up D: I need something to brag about after that iOS 7 fiasco.

MonteJ says:

I've always been puzzled by those who have reported that Win 8 was another Vista-type disaster. I really enjoy it, but greatly look forward to the upcoming tweaks in 8.1. The fact that we're getting them as soon as we are shows a new attitude at MS.

Not a disaster. It is just that folks are abandoning PCs and windows 8 is just not primed for tablets yet. 8.1, haswell chip and low cost tablets should change all that :)

Looks like MS is keeping its promise of incremental overhauls to its flagship OS. I am probably a minority in this but I am really hoping that Xbox Games App also is improved to make it more robust.

MVogelezang says:

I hope Xbox Games app on Win8 is becoming the same as the one from WP8. A summery of all my games. Keeps my startscreen clean. ;-)

More screenshots of the Windows 8.1 Store + more in Windows 8.1 Pro Preview build 9385 here --> http://sdrv.ms/12NP8dx

chad08er says:

Facebook and YouTube, very interesting :)

MVogelezang says:

I hope the Music quality is getting better. Difference with Spotify is big. 320 kbps against the 196kbps from Xbox Music. I always thought You couldn't hear the difference, but, yes you can. Spotify, volume at 5 is loud enough. Xbox Music; volume 20.

Mik29 says:

Looking forward to it, hope MS do a better job with Xbox Music than before. I'm still missing loads of artist images for Win 8 and Win Phone 8.

The alarm clock looks great. Hope there's a decent Facebook app. Looking forward to the new music app too.

laserfloyd says:

Music app is FINALLY coming together.  It's no Zune but I'll take it!

It still has a LOOOOONG way to go.   I still just use a combination of Zune/iTunes and Winamp.
Xbox music is still pretty bare bones as far as functionality, and still can't really handle meta data well.

Shobiz says:

All they had to do was rename the Zune desktop app to Xbox Music.  I hope who ever said kill Zune was taking off the project.  
 

I can't believe the majority of posts relate to the media player or some inane PROGRAM looks better on windows 8! Doesn't anybody here do serious work? Even gaming (not Xbox connectivity either)...anything...? I mean its really neato that you can have a better alarm "app" (you guys need to use the term "charms" more so you can look even more lame)....I mean really?...if I wanted 4 " x 4" icons I would have merely held the control button down and rolled my mouse wheel until they took up the whole screen....there....windows 8....! (and if I wanted an "alarm"app, I would just stet it on my phone).....idiots