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Five key features of Windows 8

A screen image of Windows 8.

A screen image of Windows 8.

Where’s the Start button?
Instead Windows 8 offers a Start screen, where colorful tiles connect you to favorite applications.

Live Tiles Unlike the familiar icons on most computers, the Windows 8 desktop features rectangular tiles. Many of them, like news and weather tiles, constantly
update themselves with new data from the
Internet, so you can get the latest information at a glance.

Continue reading below

Charms That’s Microsoft’s name for a mini-menu on the right side of the screen. It’s always available, and it contains vital controls you frequently need — a search function, a handy way to share files with friends or family, and even an icon to take you right back to the Start screen.

Apps Many Windows 8 programs will be easy-to-use apps like those found on smartphones and tablets. Microsoft’s new online app store features hundreds of these programs. Shown is the people app, which integrates social media with your contact list.

Up in the clouds Windows 8 is tightly integrated with a variety of Internet-based services, like Facebook, Twitter, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive online data storage service.

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