Windows 8 Developer Preview Hands-on: Inside All the New Features

Your Stuff Stays With You
Windows 8 leverages Windows Live so that all you need to do when you hop on another machine is enter your Live ID and Exchange info (if you have it). The notebook or tablet will spring to life with your Lock screen, your contacts, your apps, and your SkyDrive content. Microsoft calls this roaming.

Windows (App) Store
Windows 8 will have a built-in app store that will promote Metro-style, full-screen applications, Categories shown off included games, social networking apps, productivity, education, and finance. You’ll be able to see screen shots, view descriptions, and try apps before you buy them.

Windows 8 Outlook

It’s clear that Microsoft has put a lot of thought into Windows 8 in terms of the interface and how apps can work well together through features like Share. Having a built-in app store will go a long way towards making consumers even more comfortable with living in the Metro UI. Still, the traditional desktop environment feels like going back in time–despite Microsoft’s attempts at a facelift. The mere fact that you double click on something to open an app or file in desktop mode versus once in Metro mode tells you that they are different worlds. Multitasking should also be more straightforward so that you can see all open apps at once.

Overall, though, Windows 8 represents an impressive and bold evolution of the world’s most popular operating system that consumers will find fun and immersive. Now it’s up to developers to create a legion of full-screen Metro-style apps so there’s less of a need to use desktop mode at all.

Windows 8: Inside the New Features

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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  1. Miah Says:

    “The mere fact that you double click on something to open an app or file in desktop mode versus once in Metro mode tells you that they are different worlds.” — Umm, we’ve been able to single click to open things since Windows 98. Get your mind right.

  2. Sven Says:

    Great overview of the new features. Very helpful.
    One thing you were complaining about a couple times is that you supposedly don’t have a place to switch between all your running apps. If you have a keyboard you can actually ALT+TAB through them the same as in older Windows versions.

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