Windows 8 Consumer Preview due February 29

Three weeks to go until you can get your hands on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. As CNet News reports, Microsoft has revealed the date and the time of the launch: February 29 between 3:00 and 5:00 PM CET (or 9:00 and 11:00 AM EST).

Microsoft will stage an event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain for the occasion—hence the time zone wackiness. That’s an interesting choice of venue. The Mobile World Congress typically sees the release of new mobile devices, not new PC software. Of course, Windows 8 does technically lead a double life as a mobile OS. It will hit both x86 and ARM tablets when it comes out later this year.

In related news, the folks at The Verge say they’ve learned which Metro apps will ship with the Win8 Consumer Preview. Those are Calendar, Camera, Mail, Messaging, Music, "People," Photos, SkyDrive, and Video. I’m guessing the "People" app will behave like its Windows Phone 7 namesake, offering a centralized contacts hub that interfaces with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. The others are pretty self-explanatory.

That list made its way to The Verge’s editors via "sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans," so it may or may not be accurate. Still, it sounds like the Consumer Preview’s Metro environment won’t be as spare as that of last year’s Developer Preview. Hopefully, there are enough pre-installed apps for us all to try a little Metro immersion and see what the fuss is about.

Comments closed
    • Xenolith
    • 8 years ago

    Place your bets… who thinks the Aero desktop will still be accessible in this version? I am down for yes it will be.

    If it is accessible in this version, it will be there in the RTM.

    • tviceman
    • 8 years ago

    Why would a desktop or notebook user want to upgrade to win8 over win7? I am not at all trying to be rhetorical or a smartass. I genuinely want to know why I would choose to go with windows 8 on my desktop. Anyone care to educate me?

      • Theolendras
      • 8 years ago

      Not a necessary move for sure but a few things seems quite nice. Windows app store hopefully taking care of many updates centrally. DirectCompute specs seems like they’ll get better from that point and on. Better scheduler, little less ressource hungry (explorer not loaded by default, running more service on a schedule base not all the time), pause/resume file tranferts, WWAN management, NFC support for tap to share or device pairing, native USB3 drivers, native management of multi-monitor, user preference integration replicated with live account will supposedly be much better. ReFS might also be there along the way (not in the RTM version).

      This will probably be enough for me. Still I’ll probably take the wait’n’see approach for a couple of months.

      • Firestarter
      • 8 years ago

      This! I mean, is there anything like the Vista/7 driver model that may not be obvious at first sight but works wonders to make it more reliable/faster? For example, would it be impossible for Windows 7 to support DX11 because of architectural differences?

        • rado992
        • 8 years ago

        Windows 7 does support DX11 fully. Besides, the driver model for Win8 wil be WDDM 1.2, so nothing radical there, either. A display driver for Vista/7 will probably work with Win8 (albeit with some limitations).

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    Windows 8 = Next ME.

    It is just Windows 7 Mobile 2.0

    Most of the tweaks involved with it are meant for portable platforms. (Metro, new sleep/start-up modes, making it smaller etc).

    Too bad that *nix has been beaten them to the punch years ago in several different flavors.

    Microsoft is just reacting to the market demand, a.k.a they want mobile platforms.

      • Theolendras
      • 8 years ago

      “Beaten” as in Microsoft is seen as some legacy undesirable in the server room.

      How is it you want to polarize opinions, the is kind of market segment for them to live without much overlap in their respective market, don’t see Microsoft market share threatened by any *nix flavor yet. I like to use linux for some use, prefer Windows for others and can see the interest in Apple products without seeing myself buying some.

      The client version is getting much attention right now and I think the portable platform is the right target, laptop sales have been bigger than desktop for a few years and I don’t see that changing anythime soon.

      Apple & Google did a lot to shift attention to user experience for the consumer market. I see that as an improvement that Microsoft change it’s focus to be competitive on that. I think this trend will continue until new killer needs for more power come back, the new “killer apps” have been a long time coming and still nowhere to be seen. Even then, these seems to be addressed quite nice with specialized soc modules for job like transcoding.

      Soon enough it will be more about eco-system than just the value of the desktop. How does your phone interact with your desktop, laptop, media player, radio, some clouds apps, streaming content between them, sharing/lending stuff efficiently with nfc, car and navigation system communication integration. This is what this is getting to, not just, my file system is better than yours, or java is better that .Net and what else…

    • burntham77
    • 8 years ago

    After spending some time with WP7.5 I have a renewed interest in Microsoft’s new direction. I have been considering a motherboard upgrade for a few months now. Maybe I’ll do it when the CP comes out and reinstall Windows with that.

      • PeterD
      • 8 years ago

      WP7.5 ?????????

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        what’s confusing? that’s the name of the current version of windows phone OS. Mango=7.5
        [url<]http://lmgtfy.com/?q=wp7.5[/url<]

        • burntham77
        • 8 years ago

        Windows Phone 7.5. Are you sure you should be here?

    • Frith
    • 8 years ago

    [quote<]Calendar, Camera, Mail, Messaging, Music, "People," Photos, SkyDrive, and Video[/quote<] This illustrates the problem with Metro - it's fine for simple phone style applications but seems completely useless for productive applications like programming tools, office applications, stock trading platforms, image editing, video editing etc. I would therefore say Metro has no place on a desktop PC. They should have made Metro exclusive to the tablet version of Windows 8 and left the desktop side as it is.

      • eitje
      • 8 years ago

      been running the dev tools on the dev preview. they work fine.

      • moog
      • 8 years ago

      Hybrid devices are going to become common in the typical office.

    • Tumbleweed
    • 8 years ago

    Is this ARM-compatible? Could I put this on my HP TouchPad to play around with it?

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      No. This is an x86 consumer preview, not arm, which needs way more work for every device

    • Ryhadar
    • 8 years ago

    I’m not remotely excited for Windows 8 as I was windows 7. I’m fairly certain I won’t even think about getting it either.

    I’ll still probably try the beta though, just to see what the fuss with metro is about.

      • Derfer
      • 8 years ago

      Then you haven’t been paying attention to it. 7 is just a revision of vista. 8 is the biggest change I’ve ever seen in a new windows release. They’ve optimized and feature packed every corner of this operating system because for once they have fresh and innovative competition. Making Windows 8 double as a mobile OS was the best move they could have made from the consumer’s point of view.

        • jdaven
        • 8 years ago

        Uh, do you work for MS? That’s quite the marketing post there.

        Anyway, time for a dose of reality. Microsoft said the same thing about Vista, biggest change ever and look what happened. So if we learned anything from history, Windows 8 will suck big time and you should wait for Windows 9 that will come out a year and a half later to fix all the Windows 8 problems.

          • Sahrin
          • 8 years ago

          >Microsoft said the same thing about Vista, biggest change ever and look what happened.

          The XP fanbois went onto the forums spreading FUD. What’s surprising is that it continues 6 years after the OS’s release.

            • HisDivineOrder
            • 8 years ago

            The XP fanbois might have been spreading some FUD, but the Vista apologists also spread their own BS a bit thick. Vista did have a problem copying across networks properly. Vista was overly verbose. Vista was slower on the same hardware than XP, a feat that Win 7 corrected. Vista did use a DirectX and a Halo game to try and differentiate itself.

            I used XP, then Vista and now Windows 7, but let’s not ignore the fact that Windows 7 came not terribly long after and fixed so many broken things about Vista when compared to XP. There were a lot of things that Vista did very wrong.

            I am not very enthused about Windows 8 because I prefer to see my desktop when I hit the start button, not have the entire screen swallowed up by a Metro UI, prefer to use fully-featured apps that I can truly multitask with rather than have the limit of two apps per screen for a 2560×1600 screen, and prefer to have the simplicity of a list of applications I normally use readily and easily available per one click on the start button (ie., not having to scroll to the right or left to get to more of my favorite applications because the Metro UI has its limits due to its dual function as a touch-friendly interface).

            I think MS backing away from increasing the required processing specs for a new Windows release a la Windows 7 is good, though.

            • PeterD
            • 8 years ago

            quote: “he limit of two apps per screen for a 2560×1600 screen,”

            Are they really going to do that?
            My screen is set at 1024×768 pixels. Otherwise the system messages letter fonts are too small.

            • Derfer
            • 8 years ago

            Then turn off metro. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s what most power users will do.

            • Yeats
            • 8 years ago

            [quote<]Vista was slower on the same hardware than XP[/quote<] I see this brought up a lot. Isn't this the norm? Windows was slower than DOS on the same hardware, Win95 was slower than Windows 3.x, Win98 was slower than Win95, etc. I found that Vista got faster after a couple of week of usage, as the caching algorithms did their job.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            “Win95 was slower than Windows 3.x, Win98 was slower than Win95, ”

            No they weren’t. In fact they usually speed things up because they would do things like support more memory.

            • Theolendras
            • 8 years ago

            There is some truth to it, but you can put some of the blame for slower performance on drivers, they were poorly written drivers on the new driver model at the time. So not quite the operating system on its own.

            I will have to get my hands on for the new interface tough, seems quite good for a Asus Transformer like device.

            • Theolendras
            • 8 years ago

            XP had almost the same reception before SP1. Change is disrupting. People don’t like it. Windows 7 is somehow a big service pack for Vista that was released as a separate product for money and fix the market reception inertia.

          • Derfer
          • 8 years ago

          It’s not about what they’re saying; it’s about what they’re showing. What they’ve shown is a big difference, and what I meant by “paying attention.” And for the record Vista was a big change. Whether people liked those changes or not is a separate issue.

            • PeterD
            • 8 years ago

            Come on, even the computers didn’t like Vista. They crashed on it, remember.

            • Derfer
            • 8 years ago

            Sure, till nvidia fixed their shit. My BSOD rate was the same then as it is now, none. Same as it was on XP.

        • PeterD
        • 8 years ago

        8 is the biggest change seen in a new windows release since long time, but that doesn’t mean it’s GOOD.

          • Derfer
          • 8 years ago

          What are even trying to say? Certainly doesn’t mean it’s bad either. All the shit people find objectionable about 8 is entirely superficial and can be disabled. Why do you choose to be unaware of the real improvements? Changing operating systems isn’t that effin’ scary.

            • PeterD
            • 8 years ago

            The problem is that everytime MS puts something new in its software, it’s always ENABLED, and you – the user – has te DISABLE it, instead of the other way round.
            It’s kind of a philosophy they use to push there things, but it’s very annoying.
            That philosophy is even in the mind of some ot the salesman. I’ve once lost lots of time because some of them had installed the hardware and software for a network (which I asked), but he had also enabled it (which I didn’t ask, because the network itself wasn’t installed yet), and the computer needed extra minutes to start up.

        • Ryhadar
        • 8 years ago

        I’ve heard. I’ve heard about the new file system, and the new performance monitor, and the new task manager, copy manager, and the new UI.

        But even though I have my degree in comp sci, I don’t care about those things as a user. Maybe if I were still on XP (like I was during vista) I’d be more intrigued, but I’m just in no rush to replace the OS I use on a daily basis because windows 8 is “newer”.

      • bcronce
      • 8 years ago

      Win7 was a bigger upgrade when it comes to stability and all that good stuff. Win8 will support some cool new things, but like DX11, it may be a bit before it starts to get supported.

        • Theolendras
        • 8 years ago

        Win7 was more about refinement then new stuff. Not that it’s necessirily a bad thing.

    • End User
    • 8 years ago

    Cool. I’m going to install it on another drive and make it my primary Windows setup. It should be an interesting ride.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      yeah. i bet you’re excited. this should make it EVEN better for you! [url<]http://tinyurl.com/73ng5pt[/url<] 🙂

        • End User
        • 8 years ago

        Keep your Apple fanboyism to yourself.

      • bittermann
      • 8 years ago

      If you have a Bulldozer cpu I would download this as fast as you can and use it as your main OS.

        • Theolendras
        • 8 years ago

        Hmm.. don’t look a feature and sofware compability, just blindinly get 8 even if you’re just about never CPU bound for most use to get maybe 3 to 10 % on lightly threaded load only, bold !

          • bittermann
          • 8 years ago

          At least you’d get more performance for what you paid for…and most programs are lightly threaded still, so not as bold as you think.

      • [+Duracell-]
      • 8 years ago

      I didn’t think about doing that…I was just going to format and install it on my main drive…haha. I do have a spare hard drive I can toss the Consumer Preview on.

      I’m kind of anxious to try it out. I have a phone with WP7 and I love the Metro UI and live tiles.

        • Sargent Duck
        • 8 years ago

        Same here. I’ve come to love my Windows 7 phone interface and am really interested in how it translates to the desktop.

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