Windows 8 continues to move closer and closer to reality. In fact, we can expect the first public beta before the end of this year. To illustrate just how close we are getting, Rafael Rivera, a Microsoft insider (not employee), has begun posting screenshots recently.
The first shot went up April 1st, and probably a lot of people took it as April Fool’s, despite the disclaimer that it wasn’t. The next post, on April 2nd, introduce several shots of the new ribbon interface that is coming to Windows Explorer in the next version of the operating system.
The Windows 8 Welcome screen has a user-customizable background image (thankfully we don’t all have to see the creepy picture below). It also displays the current date and time, power options, and the classic Ctrl+Alt+Delete instructions to unlock the screen.
The Windows 8 Explorer interface will be receiving the ribbon interface that was first introduced in Microsoft Office 2007 and refined in Office 2010 and also introduced to Live Essentials. Like the Windows Phone 7 Metro UI, the ribbon seems to be Microsoft’s UI of the future.
If you want to see more of the Explorer screenshot you can visit Rafael’s site at Within Windows. It looks like these screenshots will keep coming over the next few days or weeks or even months. I am now anxious for that first public beta! Windows 7 was a huge improvement, but Windows 8 looks to be even more impressive.