Windows 8 Secrets: RTM Graphical Assets

With tech enthusiast web sites from around the world now leaking the RTM version of Windows 8, your intrepid “Windows 8 Secrets” co-authors offer a better look at the graphical assets that other sites only hint at. In this new co-post, we look briefly at leaked images of the Windows 8 RTM Start screen patterns, and lock screen and desktop wallpapers. Pre-order Windows 8 Secrets today on Amazon.com and save!

This week, Win8China leaked some of the new default lock screen images in the RTM version of Windows 8. But what they don’t show you is what this actually looks like on the lock screen. Here it is:

Here’s what the full set of default lock screen images looks like:

Win8China.com also leaked the final set of Windows 8 Start screen patterns. You may recall that Microsoft had previously provided a small number of these patterns in previous Windows 8 milestone releases. But in the final, RTM version of Windows 8, we can see that not only are there 20 patterns—up from 10 in the Release Preview—but that many of these patterns are quite colorful.

Here’s the PC Settings interface for personalizing the Start screen in the RTM version of Windows 8:

Earlier this week, TECHIT leaked the default Windows 8 wallpaper, which is a beautiful flower photograph:

Windows 8 also ships with a set of default themes, Earth and Flowers. Here are thumbnails of the wallpaper sets that come with these themes:

Have you seen any other Windows 8 leaks you’d like to know more about? Drop us a line and let us know!

–Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott

Windows 8 Secrets: RTM Setup Animations Revealed

This week, an employee of a Microsoft partner attended a local event and documented the new Windows 8 Setup animations aimed at helping users understand key new Metro-style interfaces. Microsoft forced this employee to take down the photos of this process. But we know you’re curious what this will look like. So in this this new co-post, your intrepid “Windows 8 Secrets” co-authors show you help animations that appear in the RTM version of Windows 8 Setup. Pre-order Windows 8 Secrets today on Amazon.com and save!

Because Windows 8 is such a major change from previous Windows versions, Microsoft struggled to determine how much in-box training they needed to provide. The spectrum was fairly broad, of course, ranging from no training at all to “heavy” tutorials that would step the user through every possible new feature.

What Microsoft found, however, was that the sweet spot involved not overwhelming the user, but rather just providing them with the basics for finding some of the core new Metro UIs, like the Charms. And the way that Microsoft decided to implement these pointers is via a set of two animations that appear at the end of the so-called Out of Box Experience (OOBE), which is the part of Setup where the user enters basic user account information and picks a color scheme.

The animation(s) you see will be based on the capabilities of your PC. If you have a touch-based device, like a tablet, you will be shown the animation oriented towards touch followed by the version for mouse usage. Otherwise, you will only see the version aimed at mouse users.

Other sites have simply reposted the still shots of the animations. But we know you want to see the real thing. Here are those animations, back to back.

Have you seen any Windows 8 leaks you’d like to know more about? Drop us a line and let us know!

–Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott

Windows 8 Secrets: RTM Windows Store Revealed

This week, Microsoft documented how it will be opening the Windows Store to paid apps beginning when it releases Windows 8 to manufacturing. But we know you’re curious what this will look like. So in this this new co-post, your intrepid “Windows 8 Secrets” co-authors show you the RTM version of the Windows Store. Pre-order Windows 8 Secrets today on Amazon.com and save!

“Currently, all the apps that are available in the Windows Store are free for customers to acquire—keeping with the preview nature of the Windows 8 releases to date,” Microsoft’s Antoine Leblond writes in the latest post to the Windows Store for Developers blog. “At Windows 8 RTM (Release To Manufacturing), all developers signing up for a company account and living in one of the supported countries will be able to publish and offer paid apps.”

As you might imagine, Microsoft has in fact finalized Windows 8 already and is debating over only minor issues such as the final build number. So with Windows 8 RTM imminent, the store is being prepped for this new milestone in which paid apps will finally be offered to customers.

And with a bit of URL trickery, we were able to gain access to the RTM version of Windows Store. So here’s an early and exclusive peek.

Note the "New apps for RTM" tile

Note the carat next to the Games heading

All of the built-in apps are getting updated

Paid game landing page

Paid app with buy and try options

We expect the RTM version of Windows Store to become available to everyone in as soon as a few days.

Have you seen any Windows 8 leaks you’d like to know more about? Drop us a line and let us know!

–Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott

Disabling animations in Office 2013

Back in April, Paul Thurrott wrote about an awful typing animation present in Office -- particularly Word -- "15" Technical Preview. While this animation has been tweaked and improved in the new Office 2013 Customer Preview, some of you may wish to turn it off. You can do so by navigating to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common\Graphics and creating a DWORD value named DisableAnimations. Set its data to 1 and you're set. Or you can just download this handy little .reg file.

Hotfix available for Windows 8 freezing issues

Microsoft's Tripp Parks tweeted me this morning about a shiny new update (2727113) now available on Windows Update for Windows 8 users. The new update finally resolves the freezing issue on Windows 8, woo hoo! The KB article describes the symptoms and cause as such:

On a computer that is running Windows 8 Release Preview or Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate, the system may randomly stop responding (hang) when you work on multimedia or communication activities. This problem may occur during video editing, unified communications, or other multimedia activities.

This problem may occur because of an issue in the interaction between the state-machine driving dynamic tick transitions and the state-machine-driving clock rate changes.

Reminder: If you previously applied the bcdedit workaround, issue the following command to undo that, then reboot:

bcdedit /set disabledynamictick no

Thanks Microsoft!