Early Windows Blue build appears online -

An early copy of Windows Blue, the rumoured Windows OS, has leaked online and it looks more like a minor update than an overhaul. 

Build 9364 is a partner version that appeared on file sharing networks. The tile arrangement is slightly different to Windows 8. Primarily, the focus appears to be more ways to personalise the experience.

Apps can now be snapped next to each other, taking up one half of the screen each. Up to four apps can be put next to each other. Some fairly standard widgets including an alarm, a microphone, a sound recorder and a calculator are also all on hand. There's also a hint of a tab sync feature.

All in, early indications suggest a smoother user interface, reminiscent of the flashy experiences demonstrated in demo videos but not neccessarily typical of the actual user experience. 

Our impression is that Windows Blue looks like an effort to merge Windows across multiple devices - Microsoft is keen to build its own ecosystem across different devices to make all your screens work with each other. At the moment it has a reputation for the opposite.

There are screenshots available here spotted by the Verge, which reckons public previews will appear shortly.

With recent rumours suggesting Microsoft will end of life Windows Phone 8, there's a chance Windows Blue could be a more integrated approach to all of its devices. This would, of course, only present an interesting update if consumers begin, er, buying PCs and other Windows products.