When I first logged into Windows 8:
The new version of the OS (at least the preview) uses a lot of solid color backgrounds which looks pretty good.
The new desktop looks like the Windows 7 desktop:
When you click the Start Menu it appears as this:
I logged into my Windows Live account when I signed onto Windows and it automatically populated some Apps with whatever information was stored in that account. I like the idea of using a Windows Live account if it means all my stocks, apps, settings can be transferred from one PC to another when I log in. You can see the scroll bar at the bottom so there are a ton more Apps available. Unfortunately there is no way to use the original Start Menu. I hope that feature is just disabled in the Preview.
The Control Panel has both a new interface as well as access to the old interface. Here's the new interface:
Explorer has the Office Ribbon look to it:
Internet Explorer 10 has two looks. The first is from the new Start Menu:
The address bar appears and disappears. If you touch or click at the top it brings up your tabs. Then you have the version of IE10 that runs on normal windows interface. It looks just like IE9:
There is no direct access to any applications other than what's on the new Start Menu / tiles. Microsoft is clearly blending Windows Phone 7 tiles with Windows 7. I was able to get the run menu and the command prompt by pressing Windows Key + R. I also created a new toolbar of Program Files which gives you access to IE, Windows Defender, Windows Mail, Media Player, Photo Viewer and Sidebar.