Microsoft offers a peek at Windows 8

Windows 8 on tablets.
Like Windows Phone, Windows 8 on tablets (and every other platform for that matter) has a screen of "Live Tiles" that provide rich data and launch deeper apps. Users can slide the tiles around on the screen.
Rafe Needleman/CNET

(CBS/CNET) - The successor to Windows 7 debuted today at the D9 conference, and so far it appears to be Windows Phone 7's interface and tile-style of app management bolted on top of Windows 7.

Code-named "Windows 8" by Microsoft, the next-generation operating system is notable for two features: it's the first major attempt by the operating system giants to elevate a mobile OS to desktop status, and it's expected to be touch-friendly and work seamlessly on tablets, desktops, and laptops.

This Windows 8 preview video from Jensen Harris, director of program management for Windows, certainly looks impressive. The "app tiles" concept from Windows Phone 7 has been blown up, expanded to suit a larger, horizontal screen. In many ways, this makes sense. Having a persistent, real-time weather or traffic feature on your desktop is something that you can now achieve with a multitude of programs and widgets, but making them look and feel like mobile apps better positions Windows to reach younger consumers whose first computing experience is likely to be a high-powered tablet or phone, not a 186 running DOS.

Windows 8 also appears to meld Windows 7's file-sharing tools to the friendlier, touch-tacular mobile interface.

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    Seth Rosenblatt is a senior editor at CNET, and has written about nearly every category of software and app available. At CNET since 2006, he currently focuses on browsers, security, and operating systems, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture.