Microsoft's performed a few last-minute tweaks to the Windows 8 interface, banishing the transparency-heavy Aero aesthetic that defines Windows 7, in favour of Metro-infused blocky windows.
Microsoft had already confirmed that the newest version of its operating system would be getting a makeover, but new leaked screenshots -- which surfaced on WinUnleaked and were picked up by the Verge -- show an even flatter look, with all hint of transparency exorcised from the task bar.
A colour picker is also shown, letting Windows 8 customers tinker with the look of open windows.
Its new operating system may be opaque, but Microsoft's motives are truly transparent, going out of its way to match the desktop elements of Windows 8 to the colourful Metro tiles that replace the platform's start screen.
The goal is for Microsoft's latest effort to feel "light and airy", and judging by these new screenshots, I think Ballmer and his buddies may have succeeded. Certainly, compared with earlier Windows 8 snaps, the software is looking pleasantly fresh.
Expect to see the final version of Windows 8 emerging in the next few months. Microsoft has a lot on its plate right now, and is planning on making a 'major' announcement on Monday -- tipped to be an own-brand tablet to compete with the iPad.
If you simply can't wait for the proper release of Windows 8, you can download the Release Preview to get a taste of what's in store. Or if that's too much effort, you could buy a Windows Phone T-shirt. If even that sounds too challenging, let me know if you're excited about the new software in the comments or on our Facebook wall.
Image credit: WinUnleaked