Lock Screen

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Lock Screen

The Windows 8 lock screen: use your mouse or finger to drag it upward and reveal the login interface. Security features include picture lock, where you tap certain parts of an image to unlock the device.

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The login screen, one of the first glimpses of Windows 8s Metro interface.

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Tile Interface

Windows 8s Metro interface offers large colored tiles linked to applications. It is meant for tablets as well as PCs.

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Desktop Mode

Windows 8s more traditional desktop mode.

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Final Look?

Its questionable at this point whether the final version of Windows 8s desktop mode will look anything like this, stylistically speaking.

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If Microsofts Metro style is familiar, its because the companys already used it in Zune software and for Windows Phone.

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Control Panel

Windows 8 will offer granular controls over all aspects of the system, in keeping with previous Windows editions. Microsoft is also working to integrate the ribbon interface into Windows 8.

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Windows 8 will offer a variety of apps for downloading (such as this preinstalled weather app). Microsoft is already encouraging developers to think about the apps they want to build for the system.

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Windows 8 will offer two versions of Internet Explorer 10: a Metro-style app for tablets, alongside a traditional desktop app. The Metro version will be plug-in free.

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Windows Store

Microsoft is integrating a Windows app store into Windows 8.

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No Compromises

Microsoft executives have promised that Windows 8s desktop and Metro/tile modes will coexist with no compromises. The company and its manufacturing partners will offer the OS on both x86 and ARM systems.

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Remote Desktop

Windows 8s remote desktop app.

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Microsoft will need to convince power users that Windows 8s new interface can serve their needs, despite its dual role as a more lightweight operating system for mobile devices.

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Release Date

Windows 8 is reportedly due for release sometime in 2012. A Microsoft partner recently told eWEEK that the operating system will hit store shelves closer to the end of the year, which would be in keeping with the release cadence of previous Windows versions.

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