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Windows 8 Release Preview is Almost Complete, Coming this June

Source: Windows 8 Consumer Preview/ Microsoft via Apple Insider

In a Windows Developer Days event in Japan last Monday, Windows President Steven Sinofsky announced that Microsoft will release a preview of Windows 8 this June. It should be recalled that the company released a developer preview of its new operating system last year, followed by a consumer preview last February.

No Release Date Yet

However, the OS maker is yet to commit a release date for Windows 8. There were previous reports that Microsoft would likely roll out its latest OS in October. Citing sources familiar with the company’s 2012 roadmap, industry website Bloomberg reported that Microsoft is planning to complete Windows 8 by summer. That’s because the company intends to launch the OS on a variety of tablets and PCs before the holiday season in October.

This could make sense, and Gartner Inc.’s analyst Michael Gartenberg notes that Microsoft needs pre-holiday sales to fend off fierce competition against Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android:

“If they miss the September-October time frame, they’re going to be stuck without being able to ship anything in 2012. The last thing Microsoft wants to have is a situation where there are no compelling Windows tablets at a time when the new iPad looks like it’s going to be a good seller for the holidays.”

What to Expect from Windows 8

Windows 8 will feature a redesigned interface, as well as the Windows Store. It was in August 2011 when Sinofsky revealed on the Building Windows 8 blog that the company was working on an “App Store.” However, he declined to give any specifics as to what its team of developers was building.

Meanwhile, Windows plans to make installation simple and easy for consumers by making the OS available for Internet download—much like what Apple did with Mac OS X Lion. As the Windows unit president explained on the company’s official blog:

“In the past, if you wanted to buy an upgrade for Windows, it involved purchasing a boxed product from a retail outlet, taking it home, (sometimes being infuriated while trying to open the box,) and inserting a DVD. However, buying boxed software is quickly becoming the exception rather than the rule, with more and more software being purchased online as broadband penetration increases and large-size media downloads become more common.

“While we will continue to offer boxed DVDs, we are also making it easier than ever to purchase and install online. This includes starting the setup experience online as well, and having one continuous integrated experience from beginning to end.”

Microsoft also announced that Windows 8 will have three forms: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT. The RT brand is designed for a version that runs on AMD architecture.

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