Recently the internet has been abuzz with leaked information pertaining to Windows 8. The leak began when Italian Windows site 'Windowsette' got hold of some secret Microsoft presentations. The revealing slides which are available at Microsoft Kitchen shows a lot of the internal thinking behind Windows 8, including customer target audiences and the product cycle.
Some of the more interesting titbits revealed come in the form of a slide entitled 'How Apple does it: A virtuous cycle'. In this slide Microsoft has broken down Apple’s UX/Brand loyalty cycle and cited its value making it fairly obvious that they are chasing the Apple "it just works" ideal, something that hasn’t exactly been a Microsoft strong point in the past.
There also appears to be a number of big changes in store to the way users log on/off in Windows 8. These may include a facial recognition system (via webcam) which the company appears to be developng. With this system a user will be able to sit down in front of their computer and log in without having to enter password information.
It also seems like user accounts will be the primary method of accessing Windows with fast user switching being a continued focus. Windows accounts may however be able to connect to the cloud, which would allow for roaming settings between PC’s and devices.
Another very interesting, and no doubt extremely useful feature which may be available in Windows 8 is the 'push button reset' function. This will essentially reinstall Windows while keeping all your personal files and settings intact and without the need for the user to back up work.
The Windows store
With Windows 8 Microsoft also seems like they are finally going to be launching their 'Windows Store', an app store for Microsoft's OS allowing you to purchase applications for Windows online. The leaks also revealed that the beta version of Internet Explorer 9 will launch in August 2010.
Keep your eyes open though, in the next few days we may see an explosion of leaked data or the quiet disappearance of information. This will all depend on the proficiency of Microsoft’s legal watchdogs.
Remember that these are very early stage leaks so take everything you read here with a pinch of salt. Only time will tell whether or not Windows 8 will live up to expectations.