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The Windows 8 Calendar app on the left is showing items from the Google calendar. The Mail app, on the right, is snapped along side, showing available folders in that account. Click any folder to see its contents and read new messages. Useing the app bar, you can pin any Gmail folder to the Start screen for quick access.
Afrter connecting a Google account to Windows 8, information from that account is available to tiles on the Start screen. The Mail and Calendar tiles here show new Gmail messages and upcoming appointments from the connected Google calender.
Pressing Ctrl+N in the Mail app opens this Compose window, where you can create, format, and send a Gmail message without having to use the web browser. The To and Cc boxes can pull names and email addresses from your Gmail contacts list.