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Windows 8.1 screenshots leaked, redesigns showcased

Today a collection of screenshots, showcasing redesigns within key Windows 8.1 applications, were leaked online. The shots showcase changes in the Windows Store and Xbox Music, along with brand new apps including a calendar, alarm clock, and voice recorder.

The newly leaked store design showcases an application “shelf” with more upfront descriptions. The new UI introduces more text to the interface and while it is still inspired by Microsoft’s modern design, it doesn’t have the close-feeling connection to the Windows Start screen that it previously had.

The new Store interface finally gives recommendations to similar apps based on what you are currently browsing. For example: If you are looking at the Xbox Music app, the store might also recommend Pandora or Slacker Radio.

In addition, the leaked screenshots reveal a major redesign to the Xbox Music interface to allow for faster browsing of your collection. One of the current problems with Microsoft’s music app is that while aesthetically pleasing, the arrangement isn’t the most optimal – particularly for keyboard and mouse users.

The new Xbox Music interface allows users to navigate their current content along the side, with the addition of an “explore” button and quick access to the “radio”. Microsoft’s Smart DJ service is most likely powering the radio service and if that is true – users won’t be disappointed.

The new “explore” option seems to display artists you may be interested in along with recently released albums (and judging from the screenshot and the list of “new” albums – this UI has been in the works for a while now).

Lastly, a few new Windows 8 applications have been leaked including a new voice recording application, a new metro styled calculator (standard and scientific), and a beautifully designed alarm app. These new applications should prevent users from getting booted to the desktop for common tasks. This is in line with Microsoft also adding more control panel options to its metro settings interface.

What do you think of Microsoft’s new styling choices – are they headed in the right direction?

Source: The Verge

  • This looks really clean. Much needed redesign.
  • I think so to
  • Looks a little like touch timer in the store
  • It looks very clean.
  • Agreed.
  • That alarm clock looks amazing.
  • Indeed. I hope WP8.1 gets it too
  • It looks nice, but it takes up too much space.
  • Such a unique design. I like it.
  • It was unique in the Nokia N9...
  • Was going to say the same thing ...
  • This is one of the things where MS and Nokia are even more conected and working closely together:D
    It's meego alarm clock and it's nice to see it on Lumia Nokia too.
  • Ohh so much metro in that alarm clock! Gimme gimme gimme
  • The alarmclock is obviously a Nokia designed app.. It's a grown up version of the alarm clock app for the N9 really.
  • Agreed! Looks like they are sharing more than we thought.
  • What about the NOTIFICATION CENTER
  • Don't want one
  • You want a Notification center on windows 8?
  • I do. There are notifications afterall.
  • I think he has a point. It would be easier if there was atleast an app which kinda puts all the notifications in one place compared to scrolling through a list of live tile enabled apps to find missed notifications. Who knows maybe Microsoft will listen and add it to the RTM version of Windows 8.1.
  • RTFA before you go ahead post useless comments. This is about W8.1 not WP8.1
  • Indeed. Notification Center is along the most requested features for the Windows 8 as well (Same like the WP).
    Its only a matter of time until they include it so it better come with the 8.1 rather than next year’s 8.2.
    And in the end, I seriously do not understand why people get upset about the Notification Center and they are acting inappropriate. You do not need it and you are OK with the current disaster, which is going on with the current Notifications? Fine, keep using your system as it is never touch the Notification Center and that’s all.
    Just because you are fine doesn't mean we are OK to hunt for notifications across our 5 miles Start Screens. Or just because you have 5 Apps installed doesn't mean others are working the same way.
    So please respect the people that they are requesting the obvious.
  • Thank you!
  • Second that
  • If that's the music app, then thank god. Looks much nicer
  • Yeah, it actually looks like an Xbox Music application. :)
  • While looks would be great....i want function first. As it is, its the 8 track of music programs.
  • 16.
  • Xbox Music app is finally usable .. I didn't touch that since launch lol
  • Lol same here :D
  • Been all Music Info. That guy saved me from dumping my Surface. Loves my Surface but with no functioning music program, it was pointless for me...then Movie Premier saved me for Video organization.
  • Xbox music has improved a lot, but it still needs work.
  • Want the alarm clock on Windows Phone, would love to set that as the lockscreen and have a live tile that looked like that.
  • This is all good for Tablet users. I personally think the windows 7 design is best for Computer users. Not gonna upgrade to Windows 8
  • Click the desktop tile.
  • Exactly.
  • THAT
  • Triple monitor gaming workstation with Windows 8. Power users wish they could multitask like me. You shouldn't listen to the FUD. The bloggers and whiners wouldn't know a truck if it hit them, and neither do you apparently. My suggestion as a free thinker and skeptic, is so dig into the details a little further than the title of articles.
  • lucky for us windows 8 users that the desktop is basically windows 7 and we get to enjoy all the under the hood improvements.
  • Well, the desktop environment in WIN8 is a vast improvement in speed, responsiveness and overall usability compared to WIN7.
  • Windows 8 is better than 7 in almost every way..
  • too bad the users aren't.
  • +100
  • At the beginning I used yo love all the metro designs but now I'm kinda bored of it, specially apps that have as a background just one and flat colour like the People Hub (w8 not wp), it looks boring, ugly and old. I hope they can realize that doing everything metro is also stressing.
  • Looks really good! Both the music player and calculator look great. I really hope that pressing the calculator key on my keyboard will open that instead of the boring Win7-style desktop calculator app like it does now.
  • I'm thrilled they are redesigning the store. As of now searching through it is horrible, and too vague. They need to allow more specification in the categories while searching.
  • Yeah me too. I'm sure when they first started it was like "simple" then now looking back"It was too simple."
  • It won't matter how well they design the store if they don't keep the info fresh, right now you can go days without seeing any new apps being promoted. I've seen new Live games for W8 announced here on WP Central days and even weeks before being promoted on the store.
  • Baby steps I suppose
  • You got that right brother...never refreshes.
  • I wish it would be released this week since I have a week off between terms. But I can't wait to get my hands on this update, it looks awesome!
  • Nice! Can't wait to put my hands on the Preview! :)
  • I have a mighty need!!
  • I'm looking forward to this! I installed W8 on my Dell laptop quite a while back and, while I never expected to get the full experience without a touch screen, I do hope they can find a way to make a few of the apps (like the Music app as stated above) a little more mouse / keyboard friendly and functional. I'm also very much looking forward to the Store redesign -- I definitely don't like how, upon first entering, there's just an endless horizontal scroll of categories. Looking forward to the 8.1 update! I'm ready for these updates to hit my laptop and my Lumia 928!
  • Anything they do to the music app would be better than it is now.
  • Music App. I want it to find and list files off my NAS. That's where all my music is. So the whole family can share it. No point to using xbox music on Surface until this is sorted.
  • Just add your NAS to the music library. If Xbox Music doesn't allow it, then do it via the desktop. Then it will all show up. Works perfectly for me.
  • You can't add a network location to your music library because it can't index it. The only way you can is if your NAS is a Windows Server, not many people use Windows as their NAS.
  • Completely agree. The NAS index issue is even more of a problem for my photos.
    Not happy about this!
  • Xbox Music doesn't look metro but it looks good. I hope they update WP8.1's Xbox Music but keep the metro look
  • Can't wait alienware to come with windows 8.1 . Will it be possible?
  • Any computer running w8 will get a free upgrade to 8.1.
  • I like. Now bring it to my desktop.
  • I like it, but above all I hope they fix the "feature" in Xbox Music that messes with my carefully managed music data. Right now, it's one of the two choises:
    1: Turn on the Xbox Music data download and enjoy artist biographies and pictures, but with messed up album titles and covers, "The" and "A" written with capital letters.
    2: Turn of the Xbox Music data download and have all your music remain the same way (correct titles and covers), but without any artist biographies or pictures...
  • Thank you. I didn't understand why my data was getting screwed up. I can live without the bio's!
  • Much better
  • In my opinion, apart from the Store app that has too much text on it, everything looks great! Xbox Music and Alarm apps, principally :)
  • Looks like I may finally use the Xbox music app because right now it's just atrocious. Who am I kidding my Zune HD will never die!
  • Can Xbox Music scrobble to Last.FM?
  • Unfortunately it can't & I doubt Microsoft will see it as functionality they should add in the near future. I'm using MusicBee at the moment to scrobble to
  • I would prefer them to focus on performance improvements over design ones. Xbox Music, for example, is a terrible player (God, please, make them release a WMP App...). Integration of Office with the Tiles would be nice instead of making us jump to the desktop mode, which, in a touch screen interface, is a bit nightmarish. 
  • Very promising cant wait !
  • Man I want a surface pro so bad but can't afford it right now. Sucks to be me as I look down at my nexus 7. Tear drops down my left cheek.
  • I am really hoping that some sub 200 win 8 tablets will show up by the end of this year.
  • Hope they improve Smart DJ. God, that's terrible right now. I'm forced to use Pandora for music discovery until DJ is fixed.
  • Beginning of the article says calendar instead of I was wondering why they would change the calendar again...
  • So fresh and so clean clean ⌒.⌒
  • Looking good!
  • I think the new apps look great. The store, I think, still needs work. That's just an opinion from the tiny bits we have seen. Perhaps there'll be even better improvements. I just think the store has to be top notch in order for folks to find what they want, and explore new apps. Right now, I can't stand to browse app lists. I'd also like the ability to tell it I'm not interested in a particular app. This way, it could help me find what I do want. I use Xbox music. I'm very excited for the revamp. Being able to easily create and manage playlists will be nice. Regarding metro apps... We need a solution for large monitors. I have a 27" monitor and viewing full screen calculator and alarm clock isn't so helpful. The snap will help.
  • When does this drop!?
  • Damn it Microsoft hurry up D: I need something to brag about after that iOS 7 fiasco.
  • I've always been puzzled by those who have reported that Win 8 was another Vista-type disaster. I really enjoy it, but greatly look forward to the upcoming tweaks in 8.1. The fact that we're getting them as soon as we are shows a new attitude at MS.
  • Not a disaster. It is just that folks are abandoning PCs and windows 8 is just not primed for tablets yet. 8.1, haswell chip and low cost tablets should change all that :)
  • Looks like MS is keeping its promise of incremental overhauls to its flagship OS. I am probably a minority in this but I am really hoping that Xbox Games App also is improved to make it more robust.
  • I hope Xbox Games app on Win8 is becoming the same as the one from WP8. A summery of all my games. Keeps my startscreen clean. ;-)
  • More screenshots of the Windows 8.1 Store + more in Windows 8.1 Pro Preview build 9385 here -->
  • Facebook and YouTube, very interesting :)
  • I hope the Music quality is getting better. Difference with Spotify is big. 320 kbps against the 196kbps from Xbox Music. I always thought You couldn't hear the difference, but, yes you can. Spotify, volume at 5 is loud enough. Xbox Music; volume 20.
  • Looking forward to it, hope MS do a better job with Xbox Music than before. I'm still missing loads of artist images for Win 8 and Win Phone 8.
  • The alarm clock looks great. Hope there's a decent Facebook app. Looking forward to the new music app too.
  • Music app is FINALLY coming together.  It's no Zune but I'll take it!
  • It still has a LOOOOONG way to go.   I still just use a combination of Zune/iTunes and Winamp.
    Xbox music is still pretty bare bones as far as functionality, and still can't really handle meta data well.
  • All they had to do was rename the Zune desktop app to Xbox Music.  I hope who ever said kill Zune was taking off the project.  
  • I can't believe the majority of posts relate to the media player or some inane PROGRAM looks better on windows 8! Doesn't anybody here do serious work? Even gaming (not Xbox connectivity either)...anything...? I mean its really neato that you can have a better alarm "app" (you guys need to use the term "charms" more so you can look even more lame)....I mean really?...if I wanted 4 " x 4" icons I would have merely held the control button down and rolled my mouse wheel until they took up the whole 8....! (and if I wanted an "alarm"app, I would just stet it on my phone).....idiots