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“Mum’s still the word on a shipping date for its new OS for laptops, desktops, and tablets (‘touch slates’ in MS-speak), but Microsoft on Wednesday gave the world a first look at the touch-friendly ‘Windows 8’ user interface, which sports a live tile-based Start screen reminiscent of the company’s Windows Phone 7 interface. Also prominent in the demo was a large ‘Store’ tile, suggesting that Microsoft plans to offer Windows apps through a marketplace. A Microsoft video offers an overview of the interface, showcasing Win 8’s multi-tasking capabilities and some other interesting features, including a virtual keyboard that can be switched from full-screen to a more ergonomic split-screen thumbs layout.”

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