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In pictures: Windows 8, Microsoft's most radical OS yet

Microsoft will release Windows 8 on Oct. 26, the final version of the touch-powered operating system -- a collision of worlds that the company hopes will bring the desktop PC into the era of tablets.

Microsoft Windows 8 startscreen.jpg

The new Windows 8 Release Preview Start screen.
Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Windows 8 keyboard.jpg

Type naturally with the touch keyboard, built into the operating system.
Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Windows 8 ie10.jpg

See all of your open sites in one convenient location in Internet Explorer 10.
Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Windows 8 monitors.jpg

Windows 8 Release Preview works seamlessly with multiple monitors, Microsoft says.
Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Windows 8 SkyDrive.jpg

SkyDrive and an Internet connection give you access to practically everything on your PC.
Microsoft Corp.

Microsoft Windows 8 store.jpg

Choose from a variety of apps in the Windows Store, built into the Windows 8 operating system.
Microsoft Corp.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Start Screen

Windows 8's new Metro look is a massive change. The new interface sports tiles representing the applications on a computer or tablet; they change, flash and flip to bubble up new information, photos, status updates or other bits of data.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Weather App

Seen in the earlier "Consumer Preview" release, the new Bing Weather application shows off the new look and feel of Windows 8: dynamic, full screen applications with new fonts and touch-friendly icons.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Photo App

The Photos application unifies the many places you store pictures: locally, on the cloud thanks to Microsoft SkyDrive, at Facebook or Flickr, and so on. 

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Bing Finance App

The Bing Finance app also sports the Metro look and feel, and scrolls from right to left to reveal other financial data: financial indices such as the Dow or the NASDAQ, news, stock quotes and so on.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Bing Finance App 2

A second screen from the Bing Finance app. Tap the buttons beneath the chart to change the time frame from a day to a week, month, or year.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview People App

Another new app, People collects all the status updates and news posts from your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and so on. (Note the "App Preview" tag at top to indicate that Microsoft is still polishing things up.)

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Split Keyboard

To facilitate the touch interface, Microsoft has built two new keyboards into Windows 8, including this innovative split design intended to be "thumbed" while you grip the sides of a tablet.

Microsoft

In pictures: Windows 8, Microsoft's most radical OS yet

Microsoft will release Windows 8 on Oct. 26, the final version of the touch-powered operating system -- a collision of worlds that the company hopes will bring the desktop PC into the era of tablets.

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