Well I looked at few more blogs and looks like this nearly monochromatic look may be around for RTM.
The reason for this is actually very simple:
PC OEMs can't afford all the new tablet hardware features without cutting cost somewhere. So they've apparently decided to go from 6 bit dithered TN panels to 4 bit.
In particular, allowing larger than 1 bit palette in the icons would be a big no-no.