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Windows Blue to sync Start Screen settings and paired devices between PCs

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Samsung Windows tablets stock
Samsung Windows tablets stock

An initial leak of Windows Blue earlier this week has unearthed several changes that Microsoft is planning for its upgrade to Windows 8, but some of them go deeper than what has previously been discovered. Windows enthusiast Rafael Rivera has detailed some new Start Screen changes for Windows Blue, with the ability to sync pinned tiles layout and sizes alongside the color scheme sync already present in Windows 8. The syncing means that other PCs using the same Microsoft Account will pick up all the changes and additions to the Start Screen in Windows Blue.

Other sync improvements include Internet Explorer synced tabs PC-to-PC and tracking protection configuration in the cloud. It's not clear exactly how synced tabs will work, but it's entirely possible that Microsoft will extend this sync to Windows Phone in future. One of the more interesting additions is device associations, allowing you to pair a Bluetooth device on one PC and have the same association move with you to another Windows Blue tablet or PC. File history, quick links, app secondary tiles, installed apps, tethering, and input personalization will also sync between PCs along with the Picture Password. Most of the sync settings aren't fully exposed in Windows Blue, but settings can be found in the registry.

A public preview is due soon

Microsoft is planning to unveil a public preview version of Windows Blue at its Build developer conference in late June. The software maker will then deliver a final version, along with new types of hardware, later this year. Windows Blue is expected to be the next major Windows upgrade to Windows 8, but Microsoft has clarified that the company will not be using that particular branding as it's simply a project codename.