Last week, WinFutures treated us to a video of the Windows 9 Technical Preview's Start menu in action. Turns out the German site has videos of the operating system's other new features, including virtual desktops and notifications:
The virtual desktops remind me a little bit of OS X's Mission Control. The interface provides an overview not just of individual desktops, but also of individual windows open inside each one. That two-for-one preview is pretty handy when you've got lots of overlapping windows open in multiple desktops. I'm hoping Microsoft will let users drag windows across desktops, too, but the video doesn't explore that.
The notifications widget looks like an improvement over Windows 8.1's transient gray rectangles. I think the icon would benefit from more prominent placement (rather than looking like just another tray icon), but that's a minor quibble. The UI may get refined and polished by the time Windows 9 ships next spring, anyway.
In yet another video, WinFuture shows the neo-Start menu can also be had sans live tiles. That doesn't warrant another embedded clip, but it's good to know. I'm sure a lot of folks will like the pre-WinXP look of the tile-free Start menu.