Lock-Screen

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Lock-Screen

Windows 8's lock-screen offers at-a-glance info on battery life and connectivity.

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Start Screen

Windows 8's start screen embraces the same Metro design aesthetic that increasingly defines Microsoft's products, from Windows Phone to the new Xbox dashboard.

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Windows Store

In a bid to compete against Google Android and Apple's iOS and Mac OS X, Microsoft is offering an app storefront that it hopes third-party developers will soon fill with must-have apps.

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App Purchase

Downloading an app to Windows 8 is a very quick process, reminiscent of what you'd find with Windows Phone, iOS or Google Android.Â

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App Install

App installation is likewise a breeze.

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App Tiles

Once added, an app appears as one of many tiles on the start screen.

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Calendar

Preinstalled Windows 8 apps also adhere to the Metro design aesthetic.

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Xbox Live

With apps on both Windows Phone and now Windows 8, Xbox continues to play an integral role in the Microsoft ecosystem.

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Thumbnails

Users can see which apps are currently running on their Windows 8 machine.

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Internet Explorer

As part of the Consumer Preview, Microsoft is providing Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 5, specifically tailored to Windows 8 devices.

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Windows Explorer

One click or tap will deliver the user from the Metro-style start screen to a desktop interface, with access to elements such as Windows Explorer. This view is familiar to anyone who's used Windows in the past.

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Ribbon

However, Microsoft has made some changes to the "traditional" interface, including the addition of a version of its ribbon interface to Windows Explorer.

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Maps

The preinstalled map app, useful for tablet owners looking for a way from Point A to Point B.

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Metro

Users can "zoom" out to see all their tiles in a macro-view.

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Widgets

Hovering the mouse (or a finger) over the bottom-right side of the screen will bring up a series of widgets that govern search, settings and other options.

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SkyDrive

SkyDrive lets users store their work in the cloud—another useful feature for mobile users.

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Weather

The weather app at work.

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