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What Is Windows 8 All About: Metro Desktop, Tiles, Portability

Every new edition of Windows released by Microsoft is awaited with great apprehension and expectations by users all over the world. Each new feature is scrutinized and critiqued by the millions of users, which is the true test to the mettle of the OS. In this piece, we shall analyze the new features Windows 8 brings to the table.

Windows 8 To Come With Advanced Voice and Gesture Recognition

Windows 8 Main Screen

In this latest edition of Windows, Microsoft has brought about some big changes in the whole interface. The most striking fact is that the old desktop and the Start Menu have been completely done away with. Instead, an array of tiles is used by this OS, which combines the old Start menu and the desktop; i.e. all applications, folders or installations are now accessible through a tile from this array. This graphical user interface has been designed to be more touch-screen friendly as it is quite probable that the next generation PC monitors and notebooks will come with a touchscreen.

Uses of tiles

The new and different interface of Windows 8 as compared to its predecessors, as mentioned, uses an array of tiles. Unlike the older versions’ desktop icons, these tiles serve more than just the purpose of accessing different applications. Rather than concentrating on the app to use, these tiles also cater to the information or use needed from that app without having to open it. This new application framework is called ‘Metro’.

Revamped Windows 8

Microsoft has also redesigned many of the applications that come with the Windows OS. This of course, is to make the interface of each application more touch-screen friendly. For example, Internet Explorer 10 looks completely different from its predecessors. The old menu bars and toolbars have been replaced by a single bar at the bottom of the display window. Page previews have replaced the tabs.


Another important feature of Windows 8 is its portability. It allows for the creation of a bootable USB stick, which can contain a working copy of the OS, applications and data included. This USB stick can then be used on any system and any changes made to the data can be saved onto the stick, which can be used at any location. This feature, especially, promises to change the way people compute as it offers the security of a full OS on a USB drive without the user been exposed to the security risks associated with working on someone else’s computer.

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Published: Thursday, December 1st, 2011 Last Modified: December 2, 2011

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