Tomorrow Wednesday, February 29, is the day when Microsoft is planning to unveil Windows 8 Consumer Preview (build 8250), and it is expected to happen at the Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona at 9 am ET (3 pm CET) — check your time zone here.
This so-called “Consumer Preview” is just a label to what we know as the beta release, but as the label implies this release is an open invitation for all users who want to have a sneak-peek to what is new in Windows 8, which is different from the Developer Preview released back in September, 2011, that was targeted to application developers.
The Consumer Preview promises to be a more stable build of the upcoming operating system, with tons of new improvements under the hood, bug fixes and tweaks in the user interface that the company has been incorporating from the past five months, and this release will also include the Windows Store.
Microsoft is betting big in this new OS, Windows 8 is set to reimagined the way we use PC today “without compromises” as the company said. Long gone is the Start Menu that millions of users have used since the first release of Windows 95, more than a decade ago. Now Windows 8 incorporates a new menu called Start Screen, which fills the whole screen with colorful live tiles from different applications. This new user interface the company refers it as “Metro”, and it will be available throughout all devices that supports Windows 8 (many devices, one user interface).
Basically the idea behind the new UI is that if you are using a touch-enabled device, you skip the use of the traditional desktop environment all together.
With the Windows Store that the software maker is launching will be the only place for Windows users to get free and paid Metro style apps — this is much like the Apple Store –. Microsoft also already reveled the list of apps that, by default, are going to come preinstalled on Windows 8 Developer Preview:
Check out our previous article to learn more — Windows 8 ‘Consumer Preview’ preinstalled apps list revealed.
The traditional Windows desktop is not going anywhere, with the new Metro style interface; users will still be able to access the desktop and all legacy applications. But you’ll see the difference with the introduction of ARM-based devices support in Windows 8. These new supported devices are only going to run Metro style apps and the upcoming version of Microsoft Office 15, and sadly none of the legacy desktop apps.
What’s new in Windows 8 Consumer Preview
While Microsoft didn’t release all the details on what is coming on build 8250, we already know many features and changes that are expected to be released, for example:
- Expect Windows 8 build 8250 at the end of this month
- Windows Store will go live with many free apps
- New Windows logo
- Removal of the Start button
- Enhancements in the new Ribbon menu
- Tons of bug fixes, therefore a more stable build
- New Immersive UI icon set
- Ability to change the Start Screen background
- New App menu template
- New shortcuts for the Charms Bar
- New organization for splitted touch keyboard
- Full integration of Windows 8 with SkyDrive
- Better languages management
- Many Metro style apps preinstalled
- Improvement on power efficiency on apps
- Enhanced file management
- Improved support for motion sensors
- Better management on mobile and wireless network
Also, there might be some games that will be available on the Windows Store with the release of Consumer Preview, including:
- Full House Poker
- Hydro Thunder
- Angry Birds and many others.
One big question still is whether the software maker is going to include a way to roll-back to a previous version of Windows, in case users decide to upgrade, for example, Windows 7 to Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In the Developer Preview, Microsoft did mentioned that you couldn’t roll-back once you upgraded, but this was noted in the download page and not in a warning message when users were installing the operating system.
Getting ready for the Consumer Preview
In various occasions Microsoft noted that any computer that is currently running Windows 7 is well suited to run Windows 8, but it is not just that what you need to know, so here is a list of tips with all you need to know to prepare your PC for Windows 8 Consumer Preview (a.k.a Windows 8 beta and a.k.a Windows 8 build 8250).
I’ll be keeping an eye open and getting you the download link as soon it become available, plus you’ll have a step-by-step how to guide to go through the installation process of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, short after it becomes available. So keep checking Pureinfotech — Windows 8 section for more updates and don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to receive updates in your inbox.