For a selected file in Windows 7 Explorer, Windows 7 shows Details Pane which displays common properties for that file like author, date you last changed, and descriptive tags added to the file at the bottom, you can turn on Preview pane with details pane on for the selected file, this is not the case with Windows 8.

preview and details panes on Windows 8 thumb Windows 8 Details Pane and Preview Pane Can’t be Shown at the Same Time in Windows Explorer

You can only turn on any one of the pane’s at a time in Windows 8, either the Preview pane or the Details pane. Where details pane appears on the right-side of the screen in Explorer window. If you switch to Preview pane, Details pane disappears and preview appears on the same place. You can switch between Preview Pane and Details pane by clicking “View” tab in Ribbon

details pane and preview pane in windows 7 thumb Windows 8 Details Pane and Preview Pane Can’t be Shown at the Same Time in Windows Explorer