let’s face it, while sometimes pretty, icons are always static. They don’t do anything. Live Tiles are the opposite. Borrowing from Windows Phone 7, when you log into Windows 8, the first thing you’ll see is a homescreen full of square and rectangular Live Tiles. These are shortcuts, but they’re also much more. Since they’re larger, they can display pictures and animate to show new, relevant information to you before you ever enter an application. For instance, the Hotmail app may show you how many unread messages are in your inbox. The weather tile above actually shows the weather before you even enter the app.
We’re also assuming that Live Tiles will be very flexible, allowing you to make a tile for almost anything you wish, from an individual flight, to a webpage you want to remember, to a file, to a single feature or page within an application. In many ways, Live Tiles offer much more information than a standard desktop, but are sparse enough that you don’t get information overload from looking at your homescreen.
From what we gather so far, it appears that the standard Windows 8 homescreen can hold a grid of 18 square Live Tiles. As you can see above, some apps will have small square Live Tiles, while others will have double-sized tiles. It would be cool if tiles could grow even larger, assuming you desire it. We presume that the new homescreen will add pages infinitely (or for a while) based on the number of tiles you add. If not, it will likely have a set number of homescreen pages you can fill, much like Android phones. You’ll be able to drag Live Tiles around and reorganize them as you wish