Another revamped feature of Windows 8 is the lockscreen. This concept moved from a mute screen, where you could only enter the password and login, maybe add an avatar icon, to a live preview page that can be customised. We are talking about live updates, choosing 3rd party applications to send information here and most of all, changing the background. The last one could be done in Windows 7 as well, by modifying registry entries and messing with some dangerous apps that could, eventually, damage the operating system itself. That's long gone in Windows 8 and here is a couple of tips and tricks to get you started.
We will start by applying a new background image to the Windows 8 lock-screen panel. This will serve as the default image, shown when Windows passes the boot screen and before it enters its Metro UI interface. Here is what you need to do:
1. While in the Metro view, click on the Control Panel tile to launch the configuration menu.
2. In the left side of the screen, click on Personalize and a window like below will appear.
3. Now click on the Lock Screen button situated right above the big image and then choose one of the available images to be set as the background. If you are not satisfied with this collection, you can choose a picture of you own by pressing the Browse button and then navigating to the file.
4. To preview your selection, press the Windows + L buttons and that's it.
You will see that the lock screen is divided into two major parts, named "The User Tile" and the regular "Lock Screen". Both of them can be attached an image from the above menu. The first one describes the image that is presented as an icon of the user, similar to the Windows 7 avatar in the login menu, while the second one was previously configured as the background.
Speaking of this menu, you can also choose here what 3rd party applications display live status messages to the lock screen. The maximum number of chosen apps is six, and they can be selected by clicking on the big "Choose an app" button.
These apps can either be SMS counters, battery level indicators, email related software, clocks, weather gadgets or something else. Although the number of compatible programs is very less, in the future we expect developers to do their best and tweak applications in the right way.
Taking into consideration that Windows 8 is still in a preview only mode now, Microsoft should add a little more spice to this element and maybe allow even more complicated software to be shown at the lock screen. Nice ideas are waiting to be found.