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Windows 8 Previewed at Microsoft's BUILD Conference

Microsoft kicked off the preliminaries of its Build conference on Monday by describing just how its new code-named "Windows 8" operating system will make the case for IT professionals, developers and users.

Microsoft first showed off Windows 8 in June, but the Build demonstrations marked the deepest view yet of what looks like a radical departure from past desktop OS designs. In this case, Microsoft displayed a "developer preview" of Windows 8 at the event. Attending press got a look at an x86-based Windows 8 preview tablet PC, which isn't for sale yet.

In general, Microsoft officials describe Windows 8 as a "reimagining" of its operating system, although the tile-based UI looks a lot like the one seen in the Windows Phone 7 mobile OS. The resemblance isn't a coincidence because Microsoft is pressing developers to create "Metro-style" apps, which are going to be based on HTML 5, JavaScript or XAML. These Metro-style apps will port from x86 metal to Windows 8 running on the ARM platform, which is a new platform for Microsoft's flagship desktop OS.

(Read the rest of this story and view early release screen shots of Windows 8 at Redmondmag.com here.)

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