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In the Consumer Preview, big blocks of primary colors overwhelmed the default Start screen. In the Release Preview, connecting to a Microsoft (nee Windows Live) account quickly populates those tiles with up-to-date information.
You'll find a slew of cosmetic changes in the Release Preview code, including an expanded selection of colors for the Start screen and this new default Lock screen image.
What makes Windows 8 different from an iPad? For starters, it can display two apps at the same time. Most of the new Metro style apps in the Release preview support a snapped view, like the one used by the Music app on the right side of this screen.