In the first of what will be a long series of co-posts unveiling specific new Windows 8 features, we present the new Windows 8 Welcome screen. This is based, quite clearly, on the Windows Phone 7 lock screen and is just as attractive. This new Welcome screen is only partially configurable, from what we can tell so far: You can only change the background image. The display includes the time, day of week, the date (month and day), and icons for power management (for portable machines only) and ease of access. Perhaps more will be added or present on other device types in the future.
Welcome Screen, pre-beta Windows 8 builds
Aside from the functionality that is exposed in the currently leaked builds, there is evidence of additional features to come. For example, on tablet-type devices, you'll apparently be able to logon using a pattern, which we assume is similar to what's available on Android devices today. Microsoft will also be supporting extensible Welcome Screen-based audio controls, so you can control music playback while the machine is locked.
-- Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott
TIP: This is not an April Fools joke.