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For my money, the new Task Manager is the single greatest improvement in the new Windows 8 desktop. Besides having a cleaner, more readable design, it also consolidates useful details that used to be scattered in other locations. In addition to seeing how much memory is in use, for example, this Performance tab tells you how many physical DIMMs are installed and what clock speed they're running at.
Likewise, the CPU view on the Performance tab in Task Manager gives you a visual display about resource usage as well as cold hard facts. Look closely and you can see the processor name, its clock speed, and how much L1 and L2 cache it includes.
As an exercise, one of the first things I did after installing the Windows Developer Preview was to take inventory of all the little applets and utilities that survived from previous Windows versions. Not everything got a makeover. The Windows Fax and Scan app, for example, still uses Vista-style toolbars!