Windows 8 Test Version Released
Microsoft has just shipped a test version of Windows 8 to PC makers, so based on the timeframe of past releases it should be available to users in late 2012. This version is reportedly being offered through Microsoft Connect, a program for extra-special beta testers. Windows 8 is important for Microsoft because it will be the first version of Windows with special features for tablets, such as compatibility with ARM processors, and a design with touch screens in mind.
Distressing to Microsoft–and fueling its tablet affinity–is the fact that Apple’s iPad is overtaking sales of consumer notebooks running Windows. However, Microsoft seems in no huge hurry to break out any tablets, despite the increasingly crowded market.
Sources say Microsoft is expected to show the first beta of the OS at its Professional Developers’ Conference, set to take place later this year. Similar test versions in the past have had security measures to prevent leaks, such as a one-time use password. However, we should never underestimate the ingenuity of nosy geeks, so I’ll be holding out for some leaks.
Another rumor is that there will be an App Store for Windows 8, and that there will be a restore function. The restore function rumor is based on a statement made by Win7China earlier this year in which they brought up the possibility of restoring your computer to factory default by deleting all user-added programs, but helpfully keeping files. This could be the end of re-installation, but nothing is set in stone.