A first look at Windows 8

Microsoft unveiled a radically redesigned Windows 8, featuring a bold new visual interface built for tablets and touchscreens.

Lock screen
Lock screen

For Windows to work on tablets and touchscreens, it needed to be designed with fingers, short battery life, and on-the-go tasks in mind.

Microsoft accomplished that with Windows 8 by redesigning everything, right through to the first screen you see before you log on. That "lock screen," which displays at boot-up and when the screen times out, shows quick-glance information about users' next calendar appointment, how many e-mails and messages they have, battery life and Wi-Fi signal strength.

Users navigate out of this lock screen to begin using applications with an upwards swipe of the finger, or a swing of the mouse.

By David Goldman - Last updated September 14 2011: 5:52 AM ET
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