Recently windows 8 metro UI has been released it looks so powerful and functional as you can do a large number of things directly through the welcome screen in windows 8 once you are logged in, you can check out updates on your twitter timeline, updates from facebook friends and other people with whom you are connected will appear, you can monitor weather updates as well from the welcome start screen and do a lot more as you can see in the screenshot of the windows 8 welcome start screen below.
Sorry to say that windows 8 is not yet ready and its in production and being developed by microsoft its not yet available to public, but thanks to a developer who has created a similar windows 8 welcome start screen which looks much similar and has same functions as if like the original windows 8 welcome screen, you can easily install in windows 7 and have the same feel of using it before windows 8 come out to public.
Below is video review of windows 8 welcome screen, you should watch the video to know how does windows 8 welcome screen looks and works in actual.
This windows 8 welcome screen designed for windows 7 is called Mosaic which was previously known as Metro Home 2. It is an application that brings Metro UI to your desktop. It is a set of live widgets that shows some content from the web or from your PC. Mosaic supports WPF and HTML(5) widgets (it uses IE9 engine if it installed). HTML widgets are visible only in fullscreen mode (for technical reason). Currently some widgets are just link to something (e.g. desktop or control panel) but in future they could get more functions.
In order to run Mosaic you will need windows 7 and Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 We installed mosaic on one of our test machine running windows 7 for review, below are some features and functions we liked and explored.
As you can see in the snapshot below, it adds a screen which vertically slides in and out to reveal the windows 8 welcome start screen which contains all the widgets and image blocks.
Once you move the vertically sliding lock screen which shows time, you can see the windows 8 welcome start screen as shown in the image below.
One the people screen you will see all the updates coming from people you know and are connected to as shown in the image below.
If you enable full screen mode in Mosaic you will not see the desktop screen when you unlock the screen but rather it every time you unlock it will take you to windows 8 welcome start screen and if in case you want to see the desktop screen of your windows 7 you can press window key + d any time to see the desktop.
You will need to configure the widgets like gmail, twitter, weather and people etc so that you see some activity as per it fetches from these web services, just right click on any widget and configure by selecting the options.
You can then sign in with you credentials as for example like the configuration option for this twitter widget.
In the right side of the screen you will have the control panel from where you can add more widgets and link block or shortcut to some application or software program on your computer as well.
In order to reveal it you will need to click on right side of the screen once and then the control bar will appears as shown in the image below.
Some other useful tips for using this windows 8 metro UI welcome screen in windows 7 are mentioned below, these tips are from the developer and most of them are really useful for you to know more about the options and functions.
1. To open Mosaic menu move mouse cursor to the right border of screen and click. This could not work if your taskbar placed on the right or left or you have more than one monitor.
2. To add widgets open Mosaic menu click on the Widgets icon and choose widget
3. To remove widget click on widget icon in Widgets menu again
4. By default widgets are shown over your windows and can be covered by them. There is fullscreen mode in the Mosaic options which makes Mosaic to cover whole screen
5. You can drag screen to the left in fullscreen mode
6. If your widgets covered by windows just click on the right border of screen and they will quickly bring to front
7. Some widgets has options which can be accessed through context menu
8. If widgets animation annoys you, you can disable it in Mosaic options
9. "Me" widget shows your avatar from Windows. You can change it by dragging any picture to it
10. Pictures widget shows images from Pictures library in Windows 7
Download Mosaic aka Windows 8 Welcome Start Screen For Windows 7 from here