Microsoft in the past months has released two public preview versions of their upcoming operating system Windows 8. First last year's Windows 8 Developer Preview version which was aimed at developers and tech enthusiasts, and then this year's Consumer Preview which was aimed at a larger audience interested in the operating system.
With interest in the Consumer Preview twice as high as that of the Windows 7 Beta, Microsoft must have done something right one could say. And while it is difficulty to verify the claim, it is fair to say that the preview builds have made an impact.
Today now Microsoft has confirmed that it aims to publish the third public release of Windows 8, the Release Preview, in the first week of June. The Release Preview, which is a release candidate version of the operating system, marks the third step in the operating system's development.
With alpha, beta and release candidate builds out, all that's left to do is to select a build of the operating system for RTM, and ship that version to partners to give them ample time to test and add the operating system to hardware and devices.
The Windows 8 Release Preview will be the first feature complete version of the operating system, which makes it an important version for testing purposes. This is true both for partners and hardware developers, but also consumers who are not yet sure if the operating system is the right one for them. Especially the operating system's Metro interface has been criticized for being too tablet-centric and of little use to desktop users who work with mouse and keyboard.
If development progresses as planned, it is likely that Microsoft will release the final version of Windows 8 in the fourth quarter of 2012, likely in October. This would fall in line with the release of Windows 7, which has also been released in October.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.