We saw Windows 8 leak for the first time a year ago today, how far has it come?

Today, one year ago, we saw Windows 8 leak for the first time ever. Build 7850 was the first in a rather short line of leaks that occurred (and still could occur) throughout the development of Windows 8. So, let’s celebrate this leaks birthday by taking a look back and seeing how far Windows 8 has come!

Windows 8 build 7850 leaked onto the internet a year ago today, it allowed us to take a first look at what Microsoft had been working on since the completion of Microsoft rather successful Windows 7. This build featured very few changes, the changes it did include were either very buggy, useless or just plain broken. But that didn’t stop us from checking it out!

Firstly, the biggest change we saw throughout that build was the Ribbon UI, we had seen screenshots before hand, but never truly believed Microsoft would do it. It turns out they did, and this build was one of the first to feature it. The Ribbon UI was still riddled with bugs, and didn’t even come with default icons.

The build also featured a new user tile on the taskbar, the user tile was fairly useless, only allowing you to access basic tasks with it. The user tile would show your profile picture on the desktop.

This build also welcomed something rather interesting, the “Portable Workspace Creator”. Today being dubbed as “Windows To Go”, the Portable Workspace Creator allowed you to install a copy of Windows 8 onto your USB for booting and using on the go. Since this is the only time we’ve been allowed to use it, we aren’t too sure how much it’s improved once we last saw it.

Window frames on programs had also been updated (and broken). The window captions had been increased in size, which is presumably because Windows 8 was aimed at touch screens from the start, and enlarging the window captions made it easier for developers to access them with their finger.

The window frames also saw the window titles in the top middle of the frame, instead of the top left. This change is still apparent in today’s Windows 8 builds.

Help and Support was missing in this build, apparently it was being overhauled.

The Metro Start screen was also missing in this build, the start button was fully intact, and the start menu was working like it should.

This build also included a wallpaper with the words “shh… let’s not leak our hard work” which was a message to all Microsoft employees, pretty much asking them to not leak Windows 8. What a lot of good that did.

This build included many more changes that we haven’t talked about in this post, but these changes started our journey through the development of Windows 8. Without this build, we would have never known Portable Workspace Creator or Ribbon UI before an official announcement.

We saw the leak of 4 other Windows 8 build after 7850. Other builds welcomed new changes, and removed others. Stability was unpredictable throughout the leaks, but fairly ok for the most part.

Although we can’t wait to test out the next builds of Windows 8, a leak does mean bad things for one or more poor souls at Microsoft, since these builds included hash codes that is unique to each employee at Microsoft. One leak and Microsoft can pinpoint who leaked it, and fire them from the company.

So, we look forward to the next “official” release of Windows 8, presumably being the Release Preview. What are you expecting, and how has Windows 8 changed for you?

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