About Windows 8/8.1/10 and Windows Server 2012/2016

Windows 8/8.1 and Windows Server 2012/2016 provide users with two types of operating modes: desktop mode and Windows UI mode. Users can choose to run Windows 10 in desktop mode or tablet mode. The desktop mode is similar to the classic Windows Start screen.

The Windows UI mode provides users with a new user interface experience similar to that used on Windows phones. New features include a scrolling touch screen interface, tiles, and toast notifications.

Table 1. Tiles and Toast Notifications




Tiles are similar to the desktop icons used in previous Windows releases. Users click or tap on a tile to launch the application associated with the tile.

Live tiles provide users application-specific information that dynamically updates. Applications can post information to tiles even when the application is not running

Toast notifications

Toast notifications are similar to a popup message. These notifications provide time-sensitive information about events that occur while an application is running. Toast notifications appear in the foreground whether Windows is currently in desktop mode, displaying the lock screen, or running another application.


Depending on the application, toast notifications may not appear on all screens or in each mode.