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Originally published June 1, 2011 at 8:25 PM | Page modified June 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

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Some features of Windows 8

Here are the new features of the operating system Microsoft showed Wednesday.

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Microsoft did not say when Windows 8 will be ready for sale. But it's expected to give more details at its Build conference in Anaheim, Calif., from Sept. 13 to 16.

These are the new features of the operating system Microsoft showed Wednesday.

Start screen redesigned for touch. The new start screen looks like the Windows Phone screen. Large square tiles will replace the traditional Windows icons. The tiles will show updates on each application, such as new email or upcoming appointments.

Works across multiple devices. Windows 8 can be installed on tablets, laptops and desktop PCs with keyboards and mice.

Backward compatibility. Software and computer peripherals, such as printers that run on Windows 7, will work with Windows 8.

Multi-tasking and resizing apps. Application windows for, say, an Excel spreadsheet or a browser running Twitter can be resized on the screen and run side by side, a feature Apple and Google devices currently lack.

Swiping between applications. Windows 8 users will be able to swipe between applications, as they can on Apple's iPad and Google's Android tablets.

Internet Explorer 10. A new version of Microsoft's Web browser, which the company described as "touch optimized," will run on Windows 8.

Web-connected apps. Software developers can build applications for Windows 8 in HTML5 and JavaScript.

Split touch keyboard. For touch-screen devices, Windows 8 will have a touch keyboard similar to the iPad's and Android's. It will also have a split keyboard that groups the letters close to the bottom corners of the screen so that tablet users can type with their thumbs.

— Sharon Pian Chan

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