As you have probably noticed, Windows 8 has a pretty cool looking user interface. It’s also completely new. Microsoft has done away with the Start Menu and replaced it with a Start Screen instead.
The Start Screen runs what is called a Metro user interface which is also used on Windows Phone 7.
The Metro user interface is supposed to be touch optimized, mainly for tablets, (there are rumors that Windows 8 will run on Windows Phones, but it’s not likely,) but also works well with touch screen desktops, and is compatible with a regular point and click computer as well, (though it’s not as intuitive.)
Other than the Start Screen, there is better multiple monitor support, two new versions of Internet Explorer, USB 3.0 support, access to the Windows App Store, new refresh and reset features that help with system restoration, and new, better integration with Windows Live.
A number of these features you can replicate on your current computer, namely the look and feel of Metro, multiple monitor support, and the ribbon style toolbar in Windows Explorer (which some people don’t like but I have no problem with.)
Here’s how to get all these features:
Duplicate the Metro UI
This is the most notable change in Windows 8 that we’ve seen so far, (and it probably will be the biggest feature all throughout the testing and release process.) To get it onto your current machine without having to install the developer preview of Windows 8, all you have to do is install an application called Mosaic (no not the old web browser.)
Mosaic doesn’t completely integrate with your desktop, instead it lets you have live tiles that sit on top of your desktop kind of like Windows 7’s widgets that can be put on the desktop and Vista’s sidebar.
To download Mosaic, click here. It will take you to a webpage with ads, just wait about 30 seconds and Mosaic will automatically start to download. Once it’s finished downloading, extract the folder to a location that you want and then double click the application file entitled: Mosaic.
It will launch over your desktop with a Metro like UI that works pretty well, but it’s not as good as the same thing, it crashes sometimes and it doesn’t move as smoothly because it lacks acceleration, but overall I like it. It comes with a Mosaic store with some cool widgets to install and it allows for more customization than Windows 8 currently does.
For more on Mosaic and its many features, click on the source link at the bottom.
Customize Multiple Monitors
Windows 8 makes it easier for people who use multiple monitors to use them in daily life. Windows 8 allows desktop wallpaper to span the entire length of the desktop so the whole wallpaper goes across both monitors, and it makes the taskbar easier to use with two monitors.
You can get all these features now with some 3rd party apps. To get wallpaper that goes across both monitors, take a look at DisplayFusion. Download and install it, and once your done, click the box that says start DisplayFusion when Windows starts.
There are two versions, a paid version and a free version. The paid version offers the better taskbar handling as well as the better wallpaper.
To get the better taskbar handling for free, downloadthe MultiMon taskbar from here. Once download, just open it and it will load an extra taskbar onto your other monitor.
To learn about more Windows 8 like features that you can get for Windows 7, visit the source link below. They aren’t as good as the complete integration that Microsoft does, but they will work if you really need or want these features.