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Windows 8 Consumer Preview in pictures

Get a look at Microsoft's new OS

We installed the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 on a Sony Vaio FW11E laptop (previously running Windows 7) to show you what to expect from the new operating system.

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This is the first thing you'll see when booting into Windows 8: the new lock screen. Apps can show live information, such as calendar appointments (and reminders) as well as the number of unread emails.

Windows 8 lock screen

When you log in, you'll be presented with the new Metro user interface, rather than the old desktop. It's the first major change since Windows 95 was launched.

Windows 8 Metro UI desktop

You can add more apps to this 'home' screen, and resize them as you like, but there are many other applications installed that aren't shown by default. To find them, you have to move your mouse to the right-hand side to show the pop-up menu:

Windows 8 pop-up menu

At the top you have Search, then Share, Start, Devices and Settings. Click on Search and a box (like Windows 7's Start menu search box) will appear. Start typing and a list of matching apps will appear on the left. Depending on the app, it will either launch in the Metro interface or switch to the traditional Windows desktop and run in a window.

Windows 8 installed apps

NEXT PAGE: Traditional desktop, multiple screens

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