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Screenshots: Windows 8 Developer Preview

Windows 8's Metro user interface is a big departure from the traditional recipe of windows, icons, mouse and pointer. Our gallery shows how the Developer Preview is shaping up.
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1 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

Windows 8's Metro Start screen is the new Windows shell, relegating the old desktop to simply another application. Live Tiles show information, as well as launching applications.

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2 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

Metro applications don't have any visible chrome — you'll need to open up the app bar to see buttons and controls. With Internet Explorer 10, you get a very different view of the web.

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3 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

The Developer Preview comes with a suite of demonstration applications, written by Microsoft's summer interns, like this graphical weather application. Most Metro applications are either HTML or Silverlight.

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4 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

Even the venerable Control Panel gets a Metro makeover, with a scrolling list controlling a view pane. Just choose the functions you need to control, and you can quickly edit them via touch or mouse.

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5 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

Some Windows 8 applications are familiar, like Remote Desktop. Wrapped in a Metro skin, it's the same RDP client of old — although with added support for touch and 3D graphics. Just swipe a finger to reveal the Windows 8 'charms' to share screenshots and manage network connections.

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6 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

Task Manager also gets a Metro reworking, although it still runs on the familiar Windows desktop. You can use it to track system resources, as well as controlling running applications and processes.

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7 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

The bundle of sample applications in the Windows 8 Developer Preview includes a conference planner for the BUILD event where Microsoft unveiled Windows 8 and its development model. Applications like this can be built quickly and easily using HTML5 grid layout tools, with JavaScript links to Windows.

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8 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

One of Windows 8's more interesting features is the idea of 'contracts' — API calls that link applications through Windows. You can use the Control Panel to choose the applications you want to show up in the Windows 8 'charms'.

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9 of 9 Simon Bisson/ZDNet

Microsoft makes it easy to wipe or refresh Windows 8 installations. If you're having problems, a refresh will reset the OS, replacing your applications, settings and data, so you can carry on working — with only a five-minute wait.

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