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Windows 8 Windows 8: A look into early/beta builds.


Essential Member
Feb 7, 2009
Hello everyone and welcome to Windows8Forums.com :)

As of September 10th, 2011, there has been two legitimate builds of Windows 8 leaked on the internet. Both builds were leaked by an HP employee who recently lost his job, hence why there have been no builds since July. The two builds leaked were 7955 and 7989.

Build 7955 has a string of "7959.fbl_srv_wdacxml.110307-1930", you can deduct from this that the build belongs to the Windows Server family of products and was compiled March 7th 2011.

Build 7989 has a string of "
6.2.7989.0.winmain.110421-1825", from this we can determine that the build is milestone 3 and was compiled on April 21st, 2011 at 6:25 PM.

For anyone who downloads either of these two builds and installs them, right off the back you'll notice something: not a lot has changed from Windows 7. This will come as a disappointment to many, many who do not know the significance of "milestone" builds in the developmental process. When a new OS is being developed, Microsoft's first "major" internal builds are called milestones. There's 3 of them. Each one is still very early in the developmental process. The third milestone build (in this case build 7989) is the last build before the beta. The beta is when most of the changes can be expected to be found. There's no official word on any beta build being released, but we can most likely expect a reveal for attendants of the Microsoft BUILD conference (formerly PDC) next week.

Now just because you don't see a lot of new features, doesn't mean they're not there. That's right, the wizards developing Windows 8 at Microsoft have "locked away" some of the features in these earlier builds. Have no fear, the hacking community is here. Via a variety of registry hacks, small utilities and other methods, you can unlock these features - and they're really unique ones too!

Who knows exactly how many features can be unlocked, but the ones discovered up until this point include a new RibbonUI, FullDWM, Advanced Task Manager, Modern Reader and a Webcam App.

The RibbonUI is a totally revamped Windows Explorer, integrating a Microsoft Office style that we see in an increasing amount of Microsoft's Products these days. See this screenshot below:
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The new, Advanced Task Manager is a god's land for tech enthusiasts, it further expands upon the Task Manager we have all come to know and love in previous iterations of Windows. It combines several aspects of Windows into one area, still accessible via CTRL+ALT+DEL or a right click of the taskbar. See these screenshots:
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FullDWM (evolved Aero interface):
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I will not post how to unlock these features.
More screenshots coming soon! This thread will stay on top of leaked builds, news, features and more!

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I am of the contention that most advanced features and UI functionality is either intentionally being developed separately or locked out with the registry. Check out this video:

The system is clearly in an advanced stage of development, but leaked builds won't prove this until they start moving towards integrating extensive UI features into the operating system. They may have branched out UI development into some far off place, which is what they have been known to do in the past. If they are working on an alternate UI for Windows besides all of the new touch screen inspired Metro UI stuff, you will not see this until they truly, truly want you to see it. Looking at the Microsoft inspired video, you can see clear and concise changes. The recent video that I posted about showed what I believe to be the Hybrid Boot feature. There will be many under-the-hood advancements that will make an upgrade worth it to me.

For instance, if the system is even 20% faster in benchmarks than Windows 7, to me, this would justify an upgrade. If it uses less memory, even better. AppStore? Sounds great. Its clear they are designing this as a major release, and as such, we haven't even seen the ARM incarnation outside a few videos. This will be a big release with a lot of features. Many of them have not been documented at all, like Hybrid Boot. You will see the plain jane Windows 7 UI until the time comes when they unlock the magic. When that happens, I believe we will be astounded. From a perspective of being reasonable, it will be good if the market goes 40/40 Windows 8/Windows 7. These are easily manageable operating systems. The massive kernel level improvements will be there. We won't have the bulk of Vista or the blunt-force trauma of downed XP systems. We get native USB3 support and the proliferation of eSATA devices. This is what we need. The future!

Windows 8 will come with Server's Hyper-V as a built-in feature! This will be a great OS from the looks of things. And its apparent they've reached a stage where they are ready to carefully show you these concepts. Leaked builds are also going to be checked builds. They're compiled in debug mode, they're not meant for demonstration, but are usually nightly compilations that are in the middle of the development process. There could be multiple branches and you're just getting winmain. So in no way can you judge totality of this system by looking at rugged leaked builds. They simply aren't designed for presentation or for use in any type of environment.
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