With Paul Thurrott leaking screenshots of Windows 9 Build 9841 on his WinSupersite blog and a Russian-language pastiche of colored Start menus posted on pcportal.org.ru by controversial leaker PainteR, the race is on to reveal pieces of the Windows Technical Preview without spilling the whole can of beans. Meanwhile, the hope that we'll get a full-on leak from Polish site winclub.pl has fizzled.
I'm starting to wonder how many people don't have an advance copy of the Windows Technical Preview. With an official presentation from Microsoft due on Sept. 30, screenshots have leaked but nobody seems willing to risk the Wrath of Khanadella (or his legal team) by leaking the bits.
It appears that Thurrott has build 9841 in hand, while previous leaked screenshots from WinFuture.de came from build 9834. He notes an expectation that "the actual Preview won't be out until October," which comes as a surprise to those of us who thought that Windows Technical Preview would be distributed at the Microsoft presentation on Sept. 30 -- if not sooner.
Thurrott's new revelations: The Windows 9 Start Menu is resizable. Metro windows running on the desktop have an Options button that looks like an ellipses, from which app commands will spring. Charms "are still present on touch-based systems, as with Windows 8.1, but they can only be accessed with touch," leaving open the question of whether Charms will work on touch- and mouse-enabled systems or Windows 9 will autodetect the peripherals and disable Charms. Multiple virtual desktops can run simultaneously, snapped to one side of the screen or the other. Thurrott also confirms the existence of the "Windows Insider Preview Program," which allows you to get more preview builds and give feedback in a way that's less cumbersome than in a forum.
PainteR's screenshots, posted in a discussion thread on pcportal.org.ru, show how the color of the new Start menu can change based on the predominant color of the desktop's background. To my eye, the colors are particularly unappealing; PainteR says (in roughly translated Russian), "sometimes the colors are not what I would like to see." Hopefully it'll be easy to turn off the bloody thing.