Windows 8 Consumer Preview to be Released [Updated]

Mike Halsey MVP
Feb 29, 2012
Updated • Feb 29, 2012
Microsoft, Windows 8

The waiting and uncertainty are finally over and at long last all our questions will be answered as Microsoft are set to release the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (beta) later today during an event in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress event.  The launch, which takes place at 3pm local time (2pm GMT, 9am EST, 6am PST) will see a download link go live sometime during the event and we'll post that link here for you straight away, so stay with gHacks!

I've had a very full mailbag since September when the Developer Preview was released to much hype and publicity.  The questions, mainly coming from IT Pros have concerned their traditional ways of working.  They wanted to know if Metro was just going to be it as far as the interface was concerned or if they would be able to set the desktop as their default user interface.  Indeed I've already given a few talks to IT Pros and businesses on this subject and there are more still booked in for the next few months.

It's not unexpected or unreasonable for people to be concerned, Microsoft have chosen the Mobile World Congress event at which to launch the beta.  This is the biggest annual trade show for companies displaying and showing off their latest mobile computing wares, which include tablets.  It's very clear then that what people are going to see and hear today will be Metro, Metro, Metro as Microsoft have got a significant amount of catching up to do in the tablet marketplace, and are, effectively, putting all their eggs into one basket.


This doesn't mean that Windows 8 won't offer adequate features and an interface for the rest of the world, and we'll find out later today what the situation is.  Personally I'll be focusing on finding the answers to the questions people have been asking me the most, and "Can the desktop be set as the default interface" is at the very top of my to do list.  This will be the first thing I do and the first thing I look for.

Windows 8 Videos:

It is just one of a great many questions people have however.  These include how extra functionality is being built into Metro both in terms of mouse gestures and menu features for apps.  While many people are resistant to Metro, not just for only being able to run one or two apps on screen at any one time (not very useful on many large desktop screens these days) there are also a great many people very excited about it.

Suffice to say we'll soon see what the real deal is, and if it's even feature-locked and finished as we would expect it to be.  There have been many rumours flying around in the last couple of weeks about difficulties Microsoft was apparently having getting the beta ready in time.

As I said, we'll let you know immediately the download is available.  Will you be getting it today?  Are you excited, indifferent or wanting to wait until you get more information?  Do you even care about downloading the beta?  Why not tell us here in the comments.


The download is now live HERE, but please remember this is just a beta, so shouldn't be considered finished and stable for everyday use!


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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