Visual tour: Windows 8 goes Metro

Microsoft's next OS is not designed for your parents -- or is it? Take a tour of what could be on your next PC or tablet.

Metro interface

The Metro interface

A first hands-on look at the just-released Developer Preview of Windows 8 reveals an operating system poised halfway between yesterday's desktop and tomorrow's touch-screen interface. Does Windows 8 look right for your next PC? Or is this user interface designed for the post-PC era only (read: tablets)?

With large, colorful tiles for navigation, Windows 8's Metro interface looks and works much like Windows Phone 7.

Windows 8 Desktop

The Desktop

Looking for a more familiar interface? The Desktop tile on the home screen takes you the Windows 8 Desktop, which looks and works much like Windows 7's.

Search

Search

The search panel slides into place on the right side of the screen.

Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer now sports a Ribbon interface.

Navigation

Navigation

Whether you're in Metro or the Desktop, when you move your mouse to the bottom left of the screen, new buttons appear, along with the time and notifications.

News app

News

See the day's top headlines at a glance with Metro's news app.

Stocks app

Stocks

Metro's stock-tracking app, like other Metro apps, runs full-screen.

Tweet@rama app

Twitter

Windows 8's Tweet@rama app is a simple, useful front end to Twitter.

Internet Explorer for tablets

Internet Explorer for tablets

Windows 8 has two versions of Internet Explorer 10. The version shown here is the Metro version, designed for tablets.

Internet Explorer for PCs

Internet Explorer for PCs

The Desktop version of Internet Explorer 10 looks and works like Internet Explorer 9.

Control Panel

Control Panel

Click the Control Panel tile on the home screen to customize Metro. You can customize the lock screen, select which apps you want to appear, control app behavior and more.