Unlock Immersive Brower in Windows 8 build 7989

The latest leaked build features some pretty big changes, not to wonder, as it was compiled in April earlier this year and thus fairly “recent”. As we speak people are hard at work to discover how to unlock the the full Start Screen, they already discovered one app, the Web Browser, and even got it working.

You’ll know this touch friendly browser from the D9 announcement video, Microsoft even went as far as saying that’s IE10, even though IE9’s barely out.

Unlock it!

The browser surprisingly isn’t hidden at all, it resides in the Microsoft folder in the Program Files. The folder is called Immersive Browser and contains several system files (dll/mui files), several images, and the application (miexplore). When trying to launch the application, it won’t work. You’ll first need to unlock it. The easiest way to do this is by using the latest version of RedPill to patch your system.

Alternatively, run your command prompt and enter the following command:

sfc /SCANFILE=%Windir%\System32\twinui.dll

After doing this, you’ll need to turn of Areo by hitting. CTRL+SHIFT+F9. The ugly old house just got uglier. Now you can launch miexplore.exe and enjoy the immersive browsing experience.

The few Metro applications found in this build (yes, there’s more) only run with areo disabled.Furthermore you can’t manually resize or move them as they’re designed to run fullscreen. With a tool like altmove, you can achieve this.

Controls

Using the Immersive browser with mouse/keyboard takes some practice as it’s designed for touch gestures.

  • F5: opens the App Bar at the bottom, pressing again opens the Frequent/Pinned menu
  • F6: shows a single webpage icon, MSN in my case, purpose of this is a mystery.
  • F7: Turns on carret browsing
  • Arrow keys: Navigate trough webpages, items in the Frequent/Pinned menu.
  • Space: quickly scroll current webpage.
  • Right-Click on link: opens a context menu with options to open the link (in a new window) or copy the link
Be aware that when returning to Areo (CTRL+SHIFT+F9) the browser dissapears but isn’t closed, and it consumes much more memory than IE9! Close it quickly, using the taskmanager!
The Metro applications in this build (yes, there are more), are still very early alpha versions, and it’s unclear whether Metro applications will run on the regular Windows 8 desktop or are limited to the new Immersive UI only.
I’ll show you some more of the new features in the coming days.
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