IT Infrastructure: Windows 8 Evaluation: Demystifying the New Tiled Interface

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-08-27 Print this article Print
The Windows 8 Tile Interface

The Windows 8 Tile Interface

This is the famous (or infamous) tile interface that you've heard about. It looks and works just like the user interface on the Windows Phone. You'll notice partial tiles on the right side of the screen. If you scroll the screen that way, you'll see tiles for individual applications. You'll see more of these if you install Windows 8 on a machine that was already running Windows 7 and had some applications installed. Note the tile in the lower left corner named "Desktop." That's one way to get to the Windows desktop.
The first time you run Windows 8, you'll likely feel intimidated by the unfamiliar interface and the changes in how it works. But it's not that hard to get used to it, and it doesn't take much to set up the Windows desktop look and feel that you are familiar with. The tiled interface of Windows 8 is designed for tablet computers, and if you have one of those or if your notebook or ultrabook computer has a multi-touch pointing surface, then using Windows 8 is easy and intuitive. But if you're installing Windows 8 on a machine for evaluation, chances are you won't have that. Instead, you'll have a keyboard and mouse. Fortunately, that works just fine as well. Microsoft kept the Windows desktop and it looks very much like what you're used to seeing with Windows 7. One potential issue is that right now there doesn't appear to be a way to boot directly to the desktop, but that may change by the time Windows 8 is released in October. Meanwhile, this eWEEK slide show will help demystify the installation process and the new look for Windows 8.
Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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