Windows 8′s secret logon screen revealed

Windows 8′s secret logon screen revealed

Earlier, GeekSmack reported on registry keys confirming that Windows 8 will have a second, tile-based shell for tablets dubbed “Immersive”. Now, Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott have revealed the logon screen for this shell, which GeekSmack can independently confirm as real despite some misinformed rants about this being an April Fool’s day joke.

What this reveals to us is basically a Metro-inspired logon screen, akin to that of the Windows Phone. The display showcases the date, day of the week, icons for power management, and ease of access stuff. Rafael also notes that Microsoft will be building on this lock screen, allowing for a “pattern unlock” for tablet users similar to Android, and audio controls for music so you can easily control music playback whilst your tablet device is locked.

Rafael and Paul are sure to be revealing more of the hidden bits in Windows 8 throughout the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Beta 2 screenshots surface, leak imminent

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 Beta 2 screenshots surface, leak imminent

WZOR, the Russian enthusiast site that’s been responsible for many leaks of Office 2010 and Windows 7 builds during their development have stated that they will soon leak Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 build 14.0.0.100326. While they are yet to leak the .dmg file to the Interwebs, they did post up a nice and lengthy screenshot gallery, and all of the images WZOR published are enclosed in this post for your viewing pleasure.

The file information according to WZOR is as follows:

BUILD: 14.0.0.100326
FILE: microsoft.office.for.mac.2011.beta-2.dmg
SIZE: 625,145,015 byte
SHA1: E0AC5320A3F07E4C406C9C1DD74DF1921B577CD1
MD5: 048E76275918997112AB1A4F8EFBB72B

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011, announced on February 10th, 2010 promises to bring an array of new features to the table that will give Mac users an improved Office experience. One of the biggest visual changes with Office for Mac 2011 though is that Microsoft Is bringing the Ribbon UI to the Mac, with Office 2011 taking advantage of this interface like its Windows counterpart. On the functionality side of the spectrum though, Office 2011 will have improved co-authoring tools thanks to the Office Web Apps; now, you will be able to work on a Word, PowerPoint or Excel file from an array of locations, allowing you to collaborate with others to bring these documents to life.

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 is expected to touch down later this year. Below are screenshots of the build that WZOR is expected to leak in a short while:

Sinofsky: Build 7046 Is Latest Build

I’ve been emailing my Windows 7 feedback and concerns to Steven Sinofsky, most of which are stated in my earlier editorial here on GeekSmack. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Windows 7 is a bad OS whatsoever; I’ve been using it as my main operating system for a while now on my personal PC and laptop, but I definitely think that it needs more time to mature, and that in Microsoft beta programs more bugs need to be fixed. I mean, sometimes I feel like if the “mass” media and blogosphere didn’t make such a big deal out of the UAC issue, for instance, it wouldn’t have been fixed.

So, Sinofsky and I were emailing on this matter back and forth, and I asked him for a comment on everything said. Here’s what he had to say:
I have to be honest and say that it is awkward to comment because you’re sort of suggesting we’re not doing the best job we could in engineering Windows 7 and then asking me to defend against that assertion. Quite the contrary we are incredibly focused on building a great release and incorporating feedback from the beta. We have received an amazing amount of feedback, many suggestions for new features too, during the beta—over 500,000 suggestions just from the Send Feedback button (which is only one of many feedback mechanisms). Putting that in perspective it is 500 suggestions for each and every developer on the Windows team, just since beta! That is clearly a lot of interest in refining Windows 7, even if a very significant portion of these are suggestions for entirely new features. We take all of them very seriously.

The other part of the challenge in answering to your assertion is that when you say we’re rushing or rushed, it implies we are behind schedule or trying to finish ahead of schedule. Neither of those are true. As we talked about at the PDC, we will have a Release Candidate after the Beta and then RTM—this was reiterated in a blog recently as well, again with no change at all in the plan. And of course, our development partners such as OEMs and IHVs, as described at the PDC and in the post, continue to receive builds frequently. Recently we’ve seen people talk about “RC Builds” and the like. First, all builds since the beta are RC builds since by definition that is the next milestone. But by far the most humorous element has been that the build numbers blogged about are higher than our current build. Today’s build is 7046, but it hasn’t completed yet 🙂

Stay tuned for some discussion of the changes we have made based on the feedback…there are hundreds of changes based on all those suggestions and of course many fixes based on the telemetry we have been receiving.

This email was received on 1:09 AM EST, and that’s 10:09 PM Redmond (Pacific) time, so I don’t know if he meant that 7046 was Thursday’s build or if it’s Friday’s build, but the reason that we weren’t able to find out the build tag yesterday was because it hasn’t been compiled yet. This confirms it; Build 7048 DOES NOT exist yet.

Windows 7 RTM on Track, Compiled

Windows 7 RTM on Track, Compiled

We previously reported that the RTM build was delayed due to show-stopper bugs, however, WZor reports that they have managed to meet the compile target date of July 10th, and have compiled the RTM build, which, unlike what we previously suspected, is build 7600.16384.090710-1945, and not 7300. This build has a valid digital signature, and this cannot be faked.

This build is in the process of leaking so expect to see it on your favorite torrent site/FTP/file sharing service soon, but in the interim keep watch for any fakes that will be uploaded, as I assure you, there will be many. As the screenshots posted do not have Aero enabled, we do not know yet whether the rumors that a new UI will be included in the RTM build are true, but we’re trying to get our hands on such a screen and we will update this post accordingly when the time comes.

All that we do know now though is that the RTM build has been compiled on July 10th, and we can expect to see it officially announced on July 13th, or maybe even the 14th with Ballmer’s keynote. It will certainly be announced at the Worldwide Partner Conference though along with several other exciting goodies, so we’re looking forward to it!

Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview Leaks

Thus far, our thirst for new stuff to rip to bits has been kept quenched by Windows 7, and now that there won’t be anything really new with Windows 7 builds except for under the hood bug fixes and performance improvements here and there, it seems that there will be another widely used Microsoft product to keep us occupied: Microsoft Office 2010, also known as Microsoft Office 14.

Build 14.0.4006.1010, which is a technical preview, has seeped its way onto the internet, and it may be found at the torrent links at the bottom of this article. Office 2010 is confirmed to ship in both x64 and x86 flavors, and both have leaked. Keep your eyes out on GeekSmack for a screenshot gallery and an overview of all the new and exciting things in Office 2010, and I’d like to thank community member Panda X for the tip!

UPDATE: The torrent links seem to be offline, but once we confirm more valid torrents/the current torrents return we will update this article again.

Exclusive Windows 7 SP1 Beta Leaks Screenshots

It seems that the inevitable has finally happened. Windows 7 SP1 has finally leaked and should be available in the usual areas soon for anyone who wants to give it a try. I have gotten my hands on this build of SP1 and will show off a few shots for your viewing pleasure.

First off, this build is very recent, with a compile date of March 27th. The full build string is as follows:

6.1.7601.16537.amd64fre.win7.100327-0053

The install process is much of what you would expect from a service pack installer, but one thing I noticed is the installation is MUCH faster than the install process for service packs on Vista was, which is a very welcome change. Below are some screenshots from the installation process of Windows 7 SP1:

After the above process takes place the system will reboot a total of two times, which is actually a rather quick process. After this happens and you log in you are presented with the following screen:

Install7

Now SP1 is installed on your machine. Below are a couple of shots that show the elements of the system that contain the SP1 branding. Note that as with vista, the main build number has been incremented by one, so you now have Build 7601.

So there you have it everyone, a look at the Windows 7 SP1 beta. Like I said in the beginning of this post, it should be available from the usual sources for your experimentation very soon.