Microsoft has announced that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available to download and the Windows 8 app store beta has opened.
Windows 8 is the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system. What makes it different to Windows 7 or Vista is that it’s designed to be used across al PCs, including: laptops and of course tablets.
Steven Sinofsky from Microsoft comments: “With Windows 8, we re-imagined 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,” said Steven Sinofsky.
Last year Microsoft released the Developers Preview where it handed out 5000 tablets to developers, but the Consumer Preview is described as a more ‘robust’ and polished experience. Check out the video below for more information on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, including Xbox Live and gaming integration.
Along with performance improvements, the Consumer Preview introduces new features since the Developer Preview:
- Windows Store with new app: Beta opening of Windows Store for apps created by Microsoft and third-party developers, sharing the Metro style interface seen on phones like the Nokia Lumia 800. In the beta format users can try the apps without charge.
- Cloud integration across Windows-based PCs and Windows Phone: An extra sign-in adds the capability to roam all settings, use cloud storage, communicate with email, calendar and contacts.
- Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 5: Re-imagined browser for Windows 8, with edge to edge interface and web performance improved by hardware acceleration.
Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview here.