WIndows 8 Consumer Preview is available

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is here.

Microsoft have just announced the availability at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and the links are live over at:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

There are apparently over 100,000 changes in this edition over the Developer Preview we saw a few months back! Mary Jo Foley tells us these include:

  • Addition of the “semantic zoom” panning feature (that Microsoft demonstrated last September, but didn’t include in the Developer Preview). This should make it easier for users to navigate Windows 8 with touch and with mice/keyboards
  • App bar that shows commands when users want them via a bar in the bottom of the screen
  • Replacement of the Start button with a Start preview thumbnail. The preview lets users to right click to get quickly to familiar Windows features, like Windows Explorer, Search, Desktop, etc.
  • Improved app switching by mousing to the top left corner of the screen to allow users to more quickly scroll through their stack of recently opened/closed/used apps
  • Consolidation of passwords and credentials into a single “Microsoft Account.” This should make it easier for users to move his/her settings to other PCs.
  • Inclusion of new previews of various Microsoft apps, including People, Mail, Calendaring, Messaging and SkyDrive apps. (Many of these seem to emulate the similarly named hubs on Windows Phone.)

(Check out her great post on Windows 8, Server 8 and more here – http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/its-windows-8-download-day-heres-what-we-know/12058)

I’m 62% of the way through my download so once it’s done I’m hoping I’ll get the chance to boot it up and see how awesome it is Smile

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