It is official! In Microsoft’s annual sales meeting, Steven Sinofsky announced the release date for Windows 8, which was later confirmed by the Windows Blog. It has been scheduled for release on the 26 of October this year, and already, expectation is high. That is only natural, since Windows 8 is one of Microsoft’s flagship products announced this year. Last year, Microsoft released a developer preview of the OS, while at the start of this year, the Consumer Preview was released. Those two releases gave developers and consumers a touch and feel of the OS, but they were far from perfect. Now, Microsoft has released a new and improved version, the Release Preview. Although still not quite there, It is much closer to the final version which will be released in October. Let’s take a look at what’s new with this preview, and how you can download it.
Microsoft says this is the final preview before the release, which means that there are no more to come. Manufacturers and developers can use this preview and start developing before the OS is released to manufacturing (RTM). Although this is the final preview, it is by no means final. Microsoft has yet to work on many things, and add more powerful functionality. The preview itself packs a greater punch than the previous releases. Here is a snapshot of the preview released by Microsoft!
What’s new with this preview?
As Microsoft says, “It’s Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability. It’s an all-new touch interface. It’s a new Windows for new devices.” This Release Preview has loads of improvements and refinements, some of which are obvious right away.
The first improvement relates to touch input. There have been notable improvements in the touch input for touch screen devices. Microsoft has also improved the touch-pad experience by enhancing features like pinch to zoom, scrolling, swyping, etc for touch pads. It is working with manufacturers to create mice and other pointer devices to provide a touch-like experience for non-touch devices.
The Release Preview also performs better than the Consumer or Developer previews. It has a boot-up time of 15 seconds. And general performance is better as well, and more fluid. As you can see in the video above, playing around with apps, tiles and screens is much more fluid.
Beside performance changes, there are also improvements in personalization options in the start screen. There is an improved multi-monitor support, and new family safety options. There are also many improvements in the default apps such as Mail, People, Internet Explorer, Photos, and Sports apps. All these contribute towards a much better user experience than ever.
Download Windows 8 Release Preview Now!
This preview will no longer be available when the final version is released. It is free now, but you’ll have to pay for the final release. To download the Release Preview, simply go to the Windows 8 Release Preview Download Page. The 64 bit version is 3.3GB in size, while the 32 Bit version is 2.5 GB in size. We recommend you use a download manager if you have a slow connection.
The downloaded file would be in a Disk Image (.ISO) format. It can be extracted using WinRar, or MagicISO. You can also create a bootable DVD directly. To install Windows 8 Release Preview, use the following Product Key;
Upgrading to the Release Preview
If you are currently running Windows, you can upgrade it to the Release Preview. You can even upgrade from Windows XP, though you will lose some of your data. It is advisable to back it up. Unfortunately, there is no option to revert back to your old OS either. So you will have to reinstall it to get it back.
If you install the Preview release now, you will eligible for upgrading to Windows 8 Pro in just $39.99! So act now before it is released! Else, you will lose this great discount! Happy exploring the new release 🙂
You might also like;