With a mouse or touchpad, these gestures have you skating the cursor around the screen a lot. Even with a touchscreen, the new interface - the only one on the cut-down Windows RT edition intended for tablets like Microsoft's Surface – will take some learning.
That's not bad by itself. Having one app fill the screen, without distracting "chrome" above or below, brings the calming focus of a Kindle e-reader (though you can also "snap" an app into a left- or right-hand column to accompany another). The simplicity of navigation here also reminds me of Microsoft's Media Center and Apple's Front Row, alternate media-playback interfaces built for use without a mouse or keyboard.
But the traditional desktop, at right above, remains a click or a Windows-logo keystroke away. That preserves traditional Windows applications (except in Win 8 RT, which I'll cover in a separate post) and file folders (their windows now group commands in the "ribbon" toolbar Microsoft pioneered in Office 2007).
But there's no Start menu. So if you're on the desktop and want to launch a traditional Windows program, you'll often have to flip back to the Start screen, right-click and click an "All apps" button.