If you've used an Xbox or a Windows Phone lately, Tablet Mode will be familiar--it's a bunch of colorful squares with information and pictures and stuff on 'em. If you haven't used an Xbox or Windows Phone lately, this will be wildly _un_familiar. It doesn't look like any kind of Windows that's ever graced a computer before. On touch devices like the Surface (and Microsoft is pushing touch devices very hard; this is what you'll see advertised pretty much everywhere), Tablet Mode is what you'll see. On some of those devices, regular old Laptop Mode will be lurking beneath it, and Tablet Mode will function a bit like a very fancy Start menu. (Actually, you hit the Start button to switch between Tablet Mode and Laptop Mode.) These two disparate OSes use totally different software; Tablet Mode uses apps, like an iPad, and Laptop Mode uses, well, regular Windows programs, in the regular way.