Consumers Given Preview of Microsoft Windows 8

By Erin Harrison March 01, 2012

Consumers are being given an advanced preview of the next iteration of Microsoft’s Windows operating system – Windows 8 – which aims to bolster a new generation of tablets and traditional PCs as competition with tech giant Apple continues to intensify.

The consumer preview is available to the broadest range of people ever, following the initial release of the Windows 8 Developer Preview in late 2011, Microsoft officials said at a preview event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

“With Windows 8, we reimagined the different ways people interact with their PC and how to make everything feel like a natural extension of the device, whether using a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or all-in-one,” Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, said in a company statement.

“The Windows 8 Consumer Preview brings a no-compromises approach to using your PC.”

At the preview event, which was attended by partners from Europe and around the world, Microsoft unveiled several new updates in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, including new apps and cloud connections across Window-based PCs and Windows phones.

Microsoft said as a result of the developer preview last September, Windows has improved the user experience for touch, keyboard and mouse and provides enhanced performance, quality and reliability across all subsystems. The Developer Preview received more than 3 million downloads.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview also marks the beta opening of the Windows Store, which offers a variety of apps from both third-party developers and Microsoft. During the Consumer Preview, users can try out the new apps for free.

In addition, the preview allows users to use cloud storage, communication with email, calendar and contacts. Users connecting to the cloud can work across their Windows-based PCs and Windows phones.

At the event, Microsoft also showcased Windows 8 running on several new x86- and ARM-based reference hardware, which will be available to a select group of developers for trial and testing.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Microsoft was also touting its Windows Phone as being faster, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani said in a recent blog post. The company was offering 100 euro prizes to anyone who could perform tasks faster on their own phone than a Microsoft representative could achieve.





Edited by Jennifer Russell

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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