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Tech

For the past few months, Microsoft has observed while techies dug into the Windows 8 “Consumer Preview“–in geek parlance, the beta. The result is several big changes to the operating system, many of which will appear in the near-final Windows 8 “Release Preview,” due out in June.

For those who haven’t been keeping a close eye on Windows 8’s development, here’s a rundown of how Microsoft will tweak Windows 8 before launch:

Goodbye, Aero

Windows Vista birthed a new visual style for the operating system called “Aero,” defined by transparent frames, drop shadows behind every window and gradients galore. Microsoft now considers this style “dated and cheesy,” and will throw it out in Windows 8. The new visual hotness, according to Microsoft (and pictured above), is “Metro,” with its sharp corners, solid colors and plain white window frames–known as “chrome”–by default. As my colleague Harry McCracken…

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