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This may be the Windows 8 beta, but it's far more stable than the name suggests. Much of its key architecture is in place, and we found it to be extremely usable.
The lock screen has been enabled to surface content from your apps, including unread e-mails and calendar appointments.
Once you've logged in, Windows 8 beta takes you to the Start screen. Essential apps like Mail, Calendar, Messaging, and Weather are front and center.
The People app is for organizing your contacts across multiple services.
The People app tile will surface recent updates, too.
Pinch-to-zoom out gives you a global view of your app groups, making it shockingly fast to switch between them.
Microsoft SkyDrive will allow you to sync files. Microsoft hasn't revealed yet what the memory limit of the SkyDrive is.
The Windows Store is where you'll get all your Windows apps. Apps bought through the store will sync across multiple Windows 8 devices, too.
Internet Explorer 10 in Metro runs on a minimized interface that hides completely when you're not using it.
Swipe up from the bottom edge of an app and you'll get app-specific controls. In the case of IE 10, this means your URL bar on the bottom and tabs thumbnails on top.
You can search your apps in Windows 8 by clicking the right-edge Search icon, or just begin typing on a keyboard from the Start screen.
Windows 8 is optimized for both tablets and PCs. It comes with several soft keyboards, and the main one is impressively responsive.
This quirky split keyboard works best with thumbs. Think: tablet, held vertically with two hands.
The desktop tile will take you to the desktop view of Windows 8. It's like Windows 7, but with a cooler secret identity.
Windows 8 offers some interesting dual monitor support. You can go for a traditional extension, shown here, or display the Metro Start screen on one and the desktop view on another.
It's not all flash and bang in Windows 8. The decidedly unsexy Task Manager has been given a new coat of paint, and is easier to use, too.
Task Manager processes are much easier to navigate, too.