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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.
One advantage of the lightweight Windows 8 Mail client is that you can configure it to show only recent messages. Click Settings and choose your Gmail account to see these options.
The default setting is 2 weeks, although you can adjust that to a few days, a week, a month, or your entire mailbox. Note you can also create a custom signature.