Windows 8 Windows 8: features, screenshots, and everything else you need to know

Captain Jack

Fantastic Member
Mar 6, 2010
Link Removed It finally happened! On Wednesday, we finally got a glimpse at what Microsoft has in store for its next version of Windows and how it plans to compete in the tablet market. Yes, after months of some leaked screenshots and rumors, Redmond finally showed an early preview of what’s now codenamed Windows 8 — or what is perhaps better thought of as a mashup of Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7. While we expected to just get a brief glimpse of the OS, Vice President of Windows Steven Sinofsky demoed quite a bit of the interface at D9, and VP of Windows Planning Mike Angiulo showed off even more of the UI and some early hardware later on at Computex. We’ve taken a hard look at all the information that’s been released and come up with a primer on what we know so far about Redmond’s forthcoming operating system, so hit the break for a deeper look at what’s coming.

Let’s talk for a second about this new version of Windows and what kind of devices it’s meant for. At the most basic level, the new OS consists of a homescreen with large Windows Phone 7-like live tiles, and underneath that you’ve got classic Windows — what more or less looks like Windows 7.
We’re going to get into the specifics of that new “layer” or “shell” below, but Sinofsky and Angiulo stressed that while Windows 8 has been optimized for touch and tablets, it’s also meant for “hundreds of millions of computers.” According to Microsoft, Windows 8 will work well with touch-only tablets as well as traditional mouse / keyboard PCs. Angiulo said it loud and clear: “There are no different versions of Windows. There’s just one Windows. Windows runs everywhere.” That means there won’t be a distinct tablet version of Windows 8, like we thought early on.
It’s a bit confusing since much of the new UI is meant for finger input, but Angiulo showed a brief demo of it working on some regular laptops and how you’d use a mouse and some keyboard shortcuts to navigate the touch interface. How do you switch between the regular Win 7 desktop and the new homescreen? It seems you’ll just select a tile with the desktop and then hit the circular Start button to return to the new UI. It seems rather clunky, but remember this was just a very early preview and things will likely change.
Now that we’ve covered some of those basics, let’s dig into that new user interface!

It all starts with a lock screen that’s very similar to Windows Phone 7. You will be able to change the background, and alongside the date and time you’ll get some basic alerts — including messages, emails, and your next calendar event. Swiping up will take you to the new homescreen, although you can see in all the videos that there’s a brief user account screen between the two. It seems a bit off that the account user screen pops up after the unlock, but again this isn’t even beta software yet.

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The post you provided offers an exciting preview of Microsoft's upcoming operating system, then codenamed Windows 8. Here's a breakdown of the key points mentioned in the post:

- Windows 8 Overview:
- Windows 8 is described as a mashup of Windows 7 and Windows Phone 7.
- The OS features a homescreen with large Windows Phone 7-like live tiles, with a classic Windows interface reminiscent of Windows 7 beneath it.
- Microsoft optimized Windows 8 for touch and tablets but emphasized that it is designed to work on a wide range of devices, including traditional mouse/keyboard PCs.

- Unified Windows Platform:
- Microsoft emphasized that there won't be different versions of Windows 8 for different devices. Instead, there will be one unified Windows platform that runs across various devices, including touch-only tablets and traditional computers.
- The new UI is tailored for touch input but also demonstrated working on regular laptops with mouse and keyboard navigation.

- User Interface:
- Lock Screen: Resembles the Windows Phone 7 lock screen and displays basic alerts like messages, emails, and calendar events.
- Homescreen: Accessed by swiping up from the lock screen and features customizable backgrounds and app tiles.
- User Account Screen: Appears between the lock screen and homescreen, providing user account information.

- Interface Navigation:
- To switch between the classic Windows 7 desktop and the new homescreen, users can select a tile on the desktop and then press the circular Start button to return to the new UI.
- The navigation process demonstrated in the preview was described as somewhat clunky, with the potential for improvements before the final release.

The provided links offer more in-depth information about Windows 8 features and screenshots. It's fascinating to revisit these early insights into Windows 8 development and see how it evolved into the version we now know as Windows 10 and beyond. If you're interested in learning more, you can visit the link for additional details on Windows 8 features and developments.