Live tiles—often simply called tiles—live on the Windows 8 Start screen and represent Metro-style apps, desktop applications, web pages, File Explorer folder locations, and other items, including information that is “deep linked” from within specially written Metro-style apps.

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Many complained that what should have been simple tasks, such as shutting down the computer, turned into frustrating processes.

Users took particular exception to the lack of the Start menu and the way the modern applications ran in full-screen mode, making it cumbersome to switch between programs and work with legacy programs.

With Windows 8, however, Microsoft is adopting the live tile interface pioneered in Windows Phone, offering users glanceable, dynamic information from your favorite apps, even when they’re not running.

If you’re not yet familiar with it, the expressive nature of this user interface element may surprise you.

This design offered users an experience similar to that of mobile devices.

The OS also marked the debut of the Charms bar for accessing specific features, such as desktop settings and universal search.

Microsoft also offered Windows 8 RT, a pared-down version of the OS for ARM-based devices, such as tablets.

Windows 8 had the following system requirements: Microsoft released Windows 8 to manufacturing in August 2012 and made the OS generally available in October 2012.

According to a Net Market Share report, Windows 8 represented only 1.35% of the desktop OS market as of August 2017.