New Interface

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New Interface

Windows 8 will abandon Windows' traditional "desktop"-style interface in favor of one centered on colorful tiles, itself heavily reminiscent of Windows Phone.

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Start Screen

Windows 8's start/unlock screen, at least in the early builds, is also heavily reminiscent of the one currently available for Windows Phone, complete with icons alerting the user to new emails, etc.

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Tablets

Microsoft plans for Windows 8 to run on form-factors ranging from traditional PCs to tablets.

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Apps

Windows 8 will offer not only apps, but also a built-in App Store. Seen here: a News app, demonstrated by Microsoft as part of an early build.

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Scrolling

Windows 8 seems big on scrolling. Several elements demoed by Microsoft feature extensive swiping to the left or right.

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Mouse and Keyboard

So far, Microsoft has chosen to emphasize Windows 8's touch abilities, probably with an eye toward assuring everyone that they have a plan for the burgeoning tablet market. However, Windows 8 is also optimized for mouse and keyboard.

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Mobility

You can see how Windows Phone's user interface had a clear influence on Microsoft's progress in developing Windows 8.

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Windows Online

Windows 8's engineering teams are working on a feature or area termed "Windows Online." Details aren't forthcoming quite yet, but it could indicate that Microsoft is examining how to best integrate Windows 8 with its "all in" cloud strategy.??í

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Questions

At September's BUILD conference, Microsoft will (hopefully) begin to answer some burning questions about Windows 8, such as how well legacy applications will run on ARM-based Windows devices.

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Kinect

At this juncture, it's unclear whether some other new Microsoft technologies, such as its hands-free Kinect controller, will find their way into the Windows 8 ecosystem.

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