1. Windows Phone 7’s theme and UI
Last week, Microsoft confirmed that Windows 8 will have a tiles-based interface. Called Immersive, this GUI is meant to be used in full-screen mode, and is probably targeted at tablets running Windows 8.
2. Ribbon User Interface in Explorer
It looks like Microsoft is taking the Ribbon GUI that they introduced in Office 2007, and gradually extended to their other software products including Windows Live Essentials 2011 and Windows 8. So expect a Ribbonized Explorer. Source.
3. Cloud integration
The Windows 8 Explorer interface suggests it will access Microsoft’s cloud services, possibly SkyDrive and Windows Live Mesh. SkyDrive is an online storage space that you can put your files in, and Mesh lets you sync your other Windows computers and mobile devices remotely. Both are already available by installing Windows Live Essentials 2011 onto Windows 7 or Vista. Source.
4. Windows Live integration
Along with being more wedded to Microsoft’s cloud services, the Windows 8 preview suggests that you’ll be able to use your Windows Live (or Hotmail) account to log into your Windows 8 computer. The profile image of your Windows Live user profile would then appear to the far right of the system tray. If you want to experience how this might work, this unofficial, user-created app mimics this feature for Windows 7. Source.
5. Built-in PDF reader
Microsoft may include the capability for Windows 8 to load and display PDFs, with its own PDF reader they’re calling Modern Reader. So there will be no more need to download and install Adobe Reader or its speedier competitor Foxit Reader. The user interface and look of Modern Reader is full-on Metro. Source.
6. ISO mounting
It looks like you’ll be able to mount an ISO file to Windows 8 and access its contents as though it is a data CD or DVD drive. Having this functionality in prior versions of Windows has been available only as a third-party program, such as Virtual CloneDrive or Daemon Tools. Source.
7. File download verification
First implemented into Internet Explorer, it looks like Microsoft may be expanding its SmartScreen filter feature throughout the Windows 8 ecosystem. So when you try to download a file, SmartScreen will kick in and evaluate whether the source URL is known to distribute malware. Source.
8. Aero auto-colorization
Here’s something that doesn’t address the critical nuts-and-bolts of Windows 8, but could be fun: Aero can be set to automatically change the colours of your Windows theme based on the primary colors of a desktop wallpaper image you use. The result could be harmonious or awful, of course. This is one of those tinker-around-with toys. There’s already a program that does the same thing for Windows 7 called Aura. Source.