Well it’s here. Microsoft is at the Barcelona Spain for the Mobile World Congress, and it is bringing out the Windows 8 big guns. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available.
Yes, Windows 8. The next OS version that is expected to make big changes to the computer PC market because the OS is different. So what is supposed to come out?
First the download of the Consumer preview (beta) is available. If you are anxious to test the OS, you can download it here. You can also download the Visual Studio “11” for developing programs for Windows 8 because that is also available today.
Is ARM ready to go?
Not at this time. That is because ARM is a hardware element, which will be part of the Windows 8 on ARM. Since the hardware has to be developed by manufacturers, Microsoft instead is focusing only on the software side now. These manufacturers are by invitation only. And it remains to be seen whether there will be demonstrations of the ARM side. But to download it, no that is not available today.
What Changes are expected?
Aside from the GUI interface, which has drawn a lot of attention, there is the touch screen feature, but most importantly, is how it will work with existing Laptops and PC’s. This is important, because notwithstanding the expected new development in hardware to match the software, if the OS doesn’t work well on existing units, then it’s a bomb now not later.
If everything is alright, is this the final deployment?
That’s hard to say. This is called beta because Microsoft expects to make further tweaks and changes to the system. However, it is also true that the core foundation will not change, meaning that the cake is baked, but there may need to be changes to the icing. That said, the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) should be out soon, with a release to the public by the 3rd or 4th quarter, 2012.