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Microsoft officially took the wraps off of Windows 8, unveiling its radically revised new operating system in front af an audience of software developers. I had a chance to get my hands on the new system (literally) last night. Here’s what you can look forward to.
If you think you know what to expect from Windows 8, just wait till you get your hands on it. After a few hours of increasingly addictive hands-on experience, I am convinced that this new release will indeed be a very big deal.
Image above: Although you can use Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard, it’s at its best on a touchscreen-equipped tablet like the one I tested.
Screenshots: Microsoft. Click on any image to enlarge
Metro-style apps are borderless and occupy the full screen. If your display has a resolution of 1366 by 768 or better, you can snap a Metro-style app into a skinny strip along the side, with another one occupying the remainder of the screen.
When multiple Metro-style apps are open, you use another gesture—a quick swipe in from the left edge of the screen—to switch between apps. (The familiar Alt+Tab and Windows key+tab shortcuts work as well.)
Of course, you can use the familiar pinch gesture to zoom in or out in photos, web pages, and other places where that option makes sense.