A leaked version of Windows 8 (build 7989) seems to indicate that Remdond is finally getting serious about coding a halfway decent operating system.
As you may recall, the next version of Microsoft's flagship OS will be ARM-friendly, which likely means the corporation was forced to jettison decades of bloat for a more streamlined, mobile-centric approach.
Although Windows 8 is far from complete, a slew of new features in build 7989 shows Microsoft is going FTW.
First up, an advanced virtual keyboard that offers a new look and feel, touch friendly buttons, split keyboard option, built in support for emoticons and feedback audio.
Next: a dozen new options for Hyper-V 3.0, such as support for more than 4 cores, hardware acceleration and virtual switch extensions.
"This is a huge step forward for Windows 8," explained Robert McLaws of Windows Now.
"I believe it will have a huge impact on a wide array of usage scenarios, the least of which is the potential for self-contained App-V / Windows XP Mode support... Not to mention better Windows Phone 7/7.5/8 Emulator support."
And in a nod to the app-heavy nature of modern computing, Redmond appears to have written lines of code pointing to an app store - along with the ability to unlock certain individual features within the system.
"While it's still no indication on what Microsoft plans to do with this, per-feature licensing could do away with Windows editions," speculated Redmond Pie's Goncalo Ribeiro.
"Instead, all users would start with a single, 'bare bones' edition of Windows and purchase individual features as they saw fit."
Additional features discovered by Redmond Pie include support for Short Message Service (SMS) and geo-location.
"This is another piece of evidence that Microsoft is aiming the new system for more than just PCs... There's [really] no reason why 3G capable tablets or netbooks shouldn't be able to send SMS, or even make calls. This could be the beginning of that," Ribeiro added.