updated 09:50 am EDT, Tue August 30, 2011
Windows 8 UI uses Metro design from Windows Phone
A new video from Microsoft shows how the appearance of the Start Menu will change in Windows 8. The menu has incorporated Microsoft's new official "Metro" design that first appeared on Windows Phone. The Windows 8 Start Menu uses both text and icons, and contains just four options: Settings, Devices, Share, and Search. Although different from the Windows 7 Start Menu, it was not clear from the video if this was the new standard menu for Windows 8 or if it had been user-customized.
Microsoft has said that the Start Menu functionality will be replaced by a Start Screen UI, which was seen briefly at the end of another video demonstrating VHD and ISO support in Windows 8. The new Start Screen shows the strong influence tablet computing has had on user interfaces. The replacement UI is a customizable tile-based interface with fully touch-optimized browsing. The interface will also have live tiles with real time updating. Microsoft says the improvements enable faster app launching and more natural switching.
The tiles in the new UI have the same square shape and Metro color scheme as Windows Phone 7. Earlier builds had suggested tiles would have a different, more rectangular shape.
Microsoft has been teasing the new OS in a series of "Building Windows 8" videos in advance of the official unveiling at the BUILD conference in September. [via WinRumors]
Windows 8 Start Menu
Windows 8 Start Screen UI