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8.0 Windows 8 Preview 

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Windows 8 is the next version of the Microsoft Windows Operating System. As the operating system is still, currently, in development a lot can change between now and the official release of Windows 8 in late 2012.

The screenshots below relate to the Windows 8 Developer Preview issued to developers in September 2011. As you can see there are certainly some changes; some rather subtle, others rather in your face.

 Fig: 8-1 The biggest change you will see in Windows 8 is the new Metro Graphical Interface.

Fig: 8-1 The biggest change you will see in Windows 8 is the new Metro Graphical Interface.

Fig: 8-2 The new pre-logon desktop shows both date and time.

Fig: 8-2 The new pre-logon desktop shows both date and time.

 To reveal the logon screen you need to swipe the picture either with your finger, if using a tablet PC, or the mouse if you are using a Desktop/Laptop PC that doesn't have a touch screen attached.

Fig: 8-3 The new Windows 8 logon screen.

Fig: 8-3 The new Windows 8 logon screen.

 By default Windows asks for your Windows Live details during initial install of the operating system. This is to allow Windows to synchronize all of your Windows Live accounts. If you don't want to use your Windows Live for logging in to Windows 8 you can, instead, choose the 'Don't want to log on with a Windows Live ID' during installation.

Fig: 8-4 The Control Panel as accessed from the Metro User Interface.

Fig: 8-4 The Control Panel as accessed from the Metro User Interface.

 Right at the bottom of the menu list you will find More Settings. By clicking on this you will be taken to the more familiar Windows 7 type Control Panel screen.

Fig: 8-5 This is the standard Windows 8 desktop.

Fig: 8-5 This is the standard Windows 8 desktop.

 Currently there are no other themes in this preview version but you can download any of the Windows 7 themes and use those instead.

Fig: 8-6 The shutdown menu has been completely changed for Windows 8.

Fig: 8-6 The shutdown menu has been completely changed for Windows 8.

 You can get it to appear by hovering your mouse over the new start button and selecting Settings from the available menu. If the context menu does not appear when you hover over the Start button try pressing the Windows key and the I key.

Fig: 8-7 The new look Windows Explorer sports a new ribbon bar across the top of the window.

Fig: 8-7 The new look Windows Explorer sports a new ribbon bar across the top of the window.

Fig: 8-8 The Internet Explorer address bar, as accessed from the Metro User Interface, is now situated at the bottom of the Windows rather than at the top.

Fig: 8-8 The Internet Explorer address bar, as accessed from the Metro User Interface, is now situated at the bottom of the Windows rather than at the top.

Fig: 8-9 This screenshot shows a list of all your most frequent website visits

Fig: 8-9 This screenshot shows a list of all your most frequent website visits

Fig: 8-10 You won't see much difference in the Internet Explorer Windows when viewed from the Windows desktop option.

Fig: 8-10 You won't see much difference in the Internet Explorer Windows when viewed from the Windows desktop option.

Fig: 8-12 For those who like to dual boot Microsoft have come up with a more user friendly Dual Boot menu. This is certainly an improvement on the Windows 7 dual boot menu.

Fig: 8-11 For those who like to dual boot Microsoft have come up with a more user friendly Dual Boot menu. This is certainly an improvement on the Windows 7 dual boot menu.

Fig: 8-13 It is also far easier to change options for a dual boot system now that the dual boot menu has been improved.

Fig: 8-12 It is also far easier to change options for a dual boot system now that the dual boot menu has been improved.

Fig: 8-14 Remember the BSOD (Blue screen of death)? Meet its replacement. Better visuals no doubt, but still no information as to what has caused the BSOD

Fig: 8-13 Remember the BSOD (Blue screen of death)? Meet its replacement. Better visuals no doubt, but still no information as to what has caused the BSOD

Fig: 8-15 The Windows Task Manager has had a complete overall.

Fig: 8-14 The Windows Task Manager has had a complete overall.

Fig: 8-16 The Task Manager is now more visually appealing thanks to it's re-design

Fig: 8-15 The Task Manager is now more visually appealing thanks to it's re-design