A CDE Definition
The previous client version of Windows. Introduced in October 2012, Windows 8 featured desktop-tablet integration. Updated to Windows 8.1 a year later, Windows 8 was superseded by Windows 10 in 2015 (see Windows 10).
Swivel-screen laptops that convert to a flat slate and laptops with removable screens were designed to take advantage of the desktop-tablet integration. In addition, Microsoft introduced its own tablet hardware for the first time (see Surface tablet). See convertible laptop and hybrid laptop.
Two Interfaces: Desktop and Tablet (Metro)
Windows 8 employs the traditional desktop user interface (UI) with overlapping, resizable windows like Windows 7; however, there are major navigation changes. The Start menu was replaced with a Start screen, Apps screen and Charm bar (see Win8 abc's, Win8 touch tips and Win8 mouse tips).
Also provided is a tablet-style UI that was originally named "Metro." Although Microsoft officially dropped the Metro name, there are thousands of articles that refer to Metro. Resembling the Windows Phone interface, the "tile-based" tablet-style features full-screen apps geared for touchscreens (but also work on regular screens), and users can easily switch between tablet-style and traditional desktop apps on their Windows 8 PCs and tablets.
Two Platforms: x86 and ARM
The desktop-style interface runs on x86 PCs, while tablet-style apps from the Windows Store run on x86 PCs, x86 tablets and ARM tablets. All x86 tablets run Windows 8 and feature Windows 7 compatibility, while ARM tablets run the Windows RT operating system and only RT apps from the Windows Store. Windows ARM tablets come with Windows RT versions of Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer and File Explorer (see Windows RT). See Windows 8 versions, Win8 abc's, Windows 10, Windows Store, ARM chips, tile-based interface and Windows Phone.
Windows 8 Start Screen
The Snap Feature
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