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Windows 8 Start ScreenMicrosoft Corp. on Thursday announced the availability of the Windows 8 release preview, the next milestone of the Windows 8 operating system. With today’s release, the next-gen operating system enters its final phase of development before it releases to manufacturing several months from now.

“We’re thrilled to be at this milestone with the Windows 8 release preview,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft.

Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available for Download

The Windows 8 release preview delivers a fast and fluid experience, along with a new user interface that responds equally well to touch as it does to keyboard and mouse. Windows 8 release preview delivers new apps from Microsoft and partners. Highlights include Bing Travel, News and Sports apps, as well as Gaming and Music Xbox apps that integrate with the Zune pass. The Windows 8 release preview also features improvements to the Mail, Photos and People apps that initially debuted with the Windows 8 consumer preview. In addition, Microsoft has worked closely with its partners to deliver apps from around the world through the Windows Store.


Windows 8 touch keyboard. Please click to enlarge

Beyond the new apps from Microsoft and partners, customers testing the Windows 8 release preview will also experience tens of thousands of refinements across the product, such as increased personalization options for the Start screen, improved multimonitor support, refinements to the way people find and download apps through the Windows Store, and new family safety features.


Internet Explorer 10. Please click to enlarge

The new Internet Explorer 10 improves browsing, particularly for touch-enabled devices by maximizing speed of the Internet pages; with new capabilities in the Windows 8 release preview such as "flip ahead", the web also promises to get more intuitive. A touch-friendly and power-optimized Adobe Flash Player is now integrated into Internet Explorer 10, and it is also the first browser to feature Do Not Track “on” by default, giving customers more choice and control over their privacy.

Microsoft Windows 8 release preview can be downloaded from Microsoft's web-site.


Windows 8 dual-monitor configuration. Please click to enlarge

Microsoft Rolls Out Windows 8 Upgrade Offer

Beginning June 2, 2012, Microsoft will roll out the Windows upgrade offer in 131 markets, including the U.S. and Canada. Consumers who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs through January 31, 2013, can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro for an estimated retail price of $14.99 during the time of the promotion.

In addition to the Windows upgrade offer designed for consumers buying new Windows 7-based PCs, Microsoft will also announce other offers in the coming months that will help consumers with existing Windows 7-based PCs upgrade to Windows 8 when it is generally available.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows, Windows 8

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