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Windows Server 8 inches toward public beta with leaked build

New screenshots leaked from a pre-beta build of Windows Server 8 show some aesthetic differences from the Developer Preview release.

Build 8180 uses a darker gray theme compared with the sky blue look of the windows in the Developer Preview. In addition, a new login screen has some Metro stylings. WinUnleaked also caught the first glimpse of the new Storage Spaces feature in Windows Server 8 that works with the new filesystem ReFS (Winrumors covered the server-only filesystem back in December).

Many Neowin commenters either trashed the UI design or questioned its utility. After all, does a server operating system really need to look pretty? And, if not, why waste precious resources on something that will have minimal impact? Who’s going to be looking at a GUI, anyway (given Microsoft is hoping to push admins to the revitalized, character-based PowerShell)?

There are some Microsoft defenders out there, though, who rationalized some of the decisions made. Poster “dtboos” said the changes to the server operating system make sense because it points to the “unification of their products, and consistency among them. They need a common element of design, and that’s what they are moving towards. Very quickly I may add. I love it.”

Another poster, Kushan, added “I don’t know why people are getting so upset – the server UI’s in windows have always looked horrible. But who cares? It’s a server, if you have to look at it every day, something isn’t right. Once its set up, you should only have to remote in once in a blue moon.”

Windows Server 8 is still expected to hit sometime later in 2012 with the public beta coming as early as February, according to Tim Schiesser at Neowin.

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