The consumer preview for Windows 8 launched back in February which gave us a pretty decent idea of what to expect in the upcoming release
Amongst major revisions were the Metro UI, implementation of gesture control and incorporation of a touch friendly interface.
With the consumer preview out Microsoft has recently (31st May 2012) put up the release preview for download. The release preview boasts close
similarity to what the retail version of windows 8 would be like. A few of the apps planned for the official release are omitted so there is still some polishing left to be done. Nonetheless this version is faster, stable, smoother and the transitions are beautiful and seamless. It includes a lot of nifty features like social media integration. Best of all it can handle heavy software so it will be treat for testers out there! Not to mention that already more than a million copies have been downloaded within 24 hours of its release.
You can grab yourself a copy at: http://preview.windows.com directly from Microsoft. The release is available in fourteen languages ready for download in 131 countries.
For those of you who are thinking to buy a PC any time soon Microsoft has announced its upgrade offer
Consumers who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs through Jan. 31, 2013, can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 (U.S.) during the time of the promotion.
The price is not very steep keeping the actual retail price in mind but considering that the upgrade from vista to 7 was free during the last upgrade offer it seems a bit of a let down. The offer also sates:
Customers must purchase a PC with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate pre-installed — and have a matching and valid OEM certificate of authenticity — to be eligible for the $14.99 upgrade price.
The offer is going to be valid any time today (2nd June 2012) allowing users can go and signup using the following link:
There is a slight gripe for users looking to purchase laptops though. Since we all know by now that Windows 8 is focused of multi touch and gesture controls, the current laptops might be too outdated and miss out on these crucial features. Manufacturers are working on it but there is no sign of release yet. Windows 8 is looking to take a leap ahead of apple which means that the manufacturers would have to make hardware capable of handling these multi touch requests.
Just to substantiate my point we all know from the bad experience we had upgrading to windows Vista from Windows Xp. With laptops sporting vista ready ready, most users were very frustrated to find out that their laptops could not run Aero; a new feature improving overall user experience giving a glossy feel. Instead they could only run windows with the basic, bare bone settings. It was a major annoyance to find out that your weeks old laptop was now outdated. After the release though we had manufacturers incorporating graphics card that could support Aero but the ones who got it before felt cheated.
It would be a good idea to wait and see what the requirements boil down to! we would not want history repeating itself. People with desktops would be less affected since they could always swap old components for new ones.
Windows 8 is speculated to launch sometime in October in accordance with Microsoft’s tradition to release a new OS version every three years. Windows 8 is all set to replace Windows 7 with quite a few improvements and new features.
Source: Microsoft News Centre