Microsoft is upgrading its Windows OS (operating system) into the next era, and it's dragging all of us along with it. Before the end of the year, laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles and tablets will be running Microsoft's newest operating system, Windows 8. Not sure whether the new Windows 8 is good enough or not for your laptop system? Well, Microsoft have released a new Windows Beta 8, know as the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Which is different from the Windows Beta for developers.
So, join us on our tour of the new Window Beta version, as we learn about its history and features.
The first official mention of Windows Beta 8, came in January 2011, where Microsoft announced at the CES (consumer electronics show) that their new system would support Intel, AMD and ARM processors. So far no actual screen shot or further information had been divulged. But on the 1st of June the same year, Windows Beta 8 was officially unveiled by Mike Angiulo, at the Taipei Computex 2011 in Taiwan. Later on at the D9 conference in California USA, Julie Larson-Green and Microsoft's Windows President Steven Sinofsky officially announced the existence of Windows 8.
Both shows were rather low key for such a big announcement, but it seemed like Microsoft wanted to keep its new Windows Beta under close wraps. They only showed the new Metro-style UI, a few extra features and then simply laid low until August 15, 2011, when the Building Windows 8 blog was launched.
Microsoft gave official access to the new Windows Beta to developers on September 13, 2011, at the BUILD conference. It also launched the Developer Preview of Windows 8 Beta, developers and tech savvy consumer worldwide could download, use, develop on and report bugs to Microsoft.
The Developer Preview included Window's Beta 8 new SDK (software development kit), an introduction to the Metro UI (user interface) and Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express. It had all the basic tools developer would need to star developing application for the soon to be operational OS.
Microsoft got over 500,000 downloads in the first 12 hours of the Developer Preview release, as a result of the new Windows Beta's popularity, Microsoft decided to extend the expiration date from 11 March 2012 on to 15 January 2013.
Windows 8 is the biggest revolution in Windows family of OSs (operating systems) since Windows 95. The new Windows Beta comes with 90 percent of the full version's features already available, so let's take a look at the new features of Windows 8.
First and foremost, is the new UI (user interface), Metro was designed at first to be compatible with finger based devices, like smartphones and tablets, but it looks like it will be the brand new look of Windows from now on.
Also, the round Start button is gone, all you have now is a big START sign at the top left of the screen.
The new Windows Beta will have Internet Explorer 10 and 9, you can also access the traditional looking Desktop look via a new Metro App.
You can now log in using picture password, and traditional password.
There is now native USB 3.0 support.
Tips and comments
Remember, the preview is still in Beta stage, there maybe crashes.
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