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More features of Windows 8 have apparently seeped out, courtesy of an early build that leaked onto the Web.

"A new build of Windows 8, build 7989, has surfaced," the blog Redmond Pie reported June 18. "Slowly but surely, it s finding its way onto file-sharing sites, and some Windows enthusiasts have already dug deep into it."

Features discovered in the build supposedly include a redesigned virtual keyboard and SMS (Short Message Service) support. The keyboard features an option that splits it into two halves, for easier thumb-typing on a tablet. "Microsoft has also built emoticon support directly into the keyboard user interface and feedback sounds similar to Windows Phone," Winrumors’ Tom Warren wrote in a June 18 posting, which also included a supposed video of the keyboard in action.

To be fair, a variant of Windows 8’s ergonomic, "thumbs optimized" keyboard has been glimpsed before, so that particular feature’s presence in the early build comes as no enormous surprise.

Redmond Pie also detailed Windows 8′ s coding for an App Store and the ability to unlock certain features. "While it’s still no indication on what Microsoft plans to do with this, per-feature licensing could do away with Windows editions," read its posting. "Instead, all users would start with a single, ‘bare bones’ edition of Windows and purchase individual features as they saw fit."

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Windows 8 Features Spied Include SMS Support, Feature Licensing