Another Windows 8.1 (Blue) leak, this time build 9374

Windows 8.1 Blue build 9374 Start screen

I really don’t mind, on the contrary, but at this point I’m honestly wondering if Microsoft is helping to leak all these Windows 8.1 builds to get a glance from users, if all the new changes are worth to include in the forthcoming Windows 8 upgrade.

I previously wrote about the build 9369 leak and I noted that there weren’t many changes added since 9364, and this time with Windows 8.1 build 9374 is the same deal, there aren’t a huge amount of changes, but there are a few things that are valuable to point out.

The first thing to note is that build 9374 is labeled “Windows 8.1 Pro Preview”, really not a surprise here, as we all are expecting a stable Preview by the end of June, but the “Windows 8.1 Pro” further confirms that Microsoft will not go for the “Blue” codename, we already got used to.

Windows 8.1 build 9374 delivers the following changes and improvements:

Kiosk mode

Perhaps the most noticeable change — The latest Windows 8.1 build, 9374, shows that Microsoft may be considering to add a “Kiosk mode”, feature that could be enabled from the PC settings, and it will allow users to restrict the computer to offer a single modern app experience — regular users may not see this as a big deal, but it will probably benefit retail stores to showcase products, just as an example.

Kiosk Mode - Windows 8.1 build 9374

Files app

The Files app already appeared in the build 9369, but what is worth mentioning is that according to a new article at WinSuperSite, Microsoft may not actually include the file picker in the final version of Blue. In this one, I agree with Paul Thurrott, it would not make much sense not to include such needed feature.

SkyDrive for everyone

We already know that Microsoft is integrating SkyDrive tightly into Windows 8.1 and it will also benefit Windows RT users, which currently are unable to install the SkyDrive application in their tablets. Moreover it also seems that users will have the choice to save files by default directly into the cloud storage service — just like in Office 2013.

App customization

Another small change is the ability to customize even further the Windows 8 Start screen apps. We previously heard about live tiles getting a tiny download progress bar, but new findings in 9374, from, suggests that users will also see a Customize button when they right-click on the Start screen. The action will dim all tiles highlighting with a checkmark the app tile you want to move around.

Windows 8.1 Blue new Customize button Start screen

Also the recently leaked version of Windows, codenamed “Blue”, has a file that reveals references to a Windows RT 8.1 Preview and Windows Server 2012 R2. Which strongly hints that the software giant is gearing up to release a Windows RT Public Preview for the Surface RT and various other ARM tablets, and that the upcoming upgrade of Windows Server 2012 will have an expected name “R2”.

Once again, boot-to-desktop and the Start button are not present in 9374 and they probably won’t be available until Microsoft releases the preview build at the end of June, when the company will finally unveil all the new changes coming to Windows 8.1 and the plans for the 7 and 8-inch tablets coming this year.. No doubt that we’ll be seeing more changes before then, there are already rumors that Windows 8.1 Pro Preview build 9385 is circulating around the internet, so stay tuned for more updates.

What do think about all the changes Microsoft is planning for Windows 8.1?