Microsoft has released a preview version of Windows 8 for the public to download and try out on Wednesday, in a bid to rev up excitement for the slick, new-look operating system that it hopes will restore its fading tech supremacy.
Windows 8 will run on tablets as well as desktops and laptops, in an effort to counter the runaway success of Apple’s iPad.
Anyone can download the preview version of Windows, but it will only work on PCs and laptops running standard Intel x86 chips.Consumers will have to wait longer to try out the full experience on their ARM-compatible tablets.
For the first time, this version of Windows 8 includes the Windows Store, where users can download and try out apps and get access to cloud storage with the ability to move content across a range of devices including Windows phones. Also present is a test version of Microsoft’s newest incarnation of its web browser, Internet Explorer 10.
‘It’s an even better Windows than Windows 7,’ said Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft’s flagship Windows unit, as he demonstrated the new system at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. ‘It’s incredibly fast and fluid to just navigate this UI (user interface)’, he said, while showing off Windows 8 on a tablet and an ultra-thin laptop.
Windows 7, Microsoft’s current operating system, was its fastest-selling ever, racking up 525 million sales in less than three years.
If you want to preview Windows 8 for yourself it is available for download at http://preview.windows.com