After months of speculation and leaks, most of which turned out to be fake, Microsoft finally showed off a preview of Windows 8 at the D9 conference this week. The new OS is a drastic break from previous Windows versions, and the company has learned a lot from the two competitors that most threaten its existence: Apple and Google. What we’ve seen of Windows 8 shows a clear emphasis on touch-capable interfaces and optimization for smaller devices like tablets—a market owned currently by Apple with its iPad and one that Windows 8 targets head-on.
But the Redmond-based software giant steals from its own stable of ideas as well, most dramatically in its use of the Metro, tile-based interface of Windows Phone 7. From Windows 7 comes the ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, à la Aero Snap.
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