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Windows 8 sees the end of the Aero transparent UI introduced with Vista. A new theme arrived with the final builds of Windows 8, bringing the Start menu and modern-style applications' flat look-and-feel to the desktop. The new, flatter, UI removes Aero's transparent window borders, making it easier to switch between traditional desktop applications and WinRT apps.
Microsoft's BitLocker drive encryption is now available to home and businesses users — it's a powerful tool that can encrypt whole disks or USB devices. IT administrators can push group policies to ensure device encryption — either directly through Active Directory, or indirectly through Exchange ActiveSync and the Windows 8 Mail client.
The Windows Store has only just opened to pay-for applications, but already there's a mix of modern-style and desktop applications in the productivity section. Apps include the touch-based note-taking tool OneNote MX as well as a mix of file management and time-keeping tools.