Microsoft’s president of Windows Steve Sinofsky told crowds collected at Mobile World Congress today that the OS will be a “a bold re-imagining of Windows”, designed as “a unified operating experience” across tablets, PCs and smartphones.
Making more profound use of touch controls than any previous Windows build, and with the Metro UI borrowing heavily from the Windows Phone 7 tile-based interface, there are said to be 100,000 code changes made since the release of the initial Developer Preview build.
The launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview also marks the beta opening of the Windows Store, where users will be able to find both Microsoft-built and third party apps for purchase. In the Consumer Preview, users will be able try plenty of apps for free, including an Amazon Kindle app, one from The Telegraph newspaper and the Cut The Rope game, among many others.
Both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the new OS are available in five languages: English, Chinese, French, German, and Japanese. Minimum specs state that you’ll need at least a 1GHz processor on your test PC, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of free storage space and a graphics card compatible with DirectX 9.
The full version of Windows 8 is expected to launch late this year, likely in the month of November.