In Barcelona, Spain at Mobile World Congress (MWC), Microsoft Corp. announced the availability of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
At its MWC event, Microsoft showcased Windows 8 running on a selection of new x86- and ARM-based reference hardware. The OS will be offered on PCs, tablets, and smartphones.
Microsoft says that since the Developer Preview it ran back in September, the forthcoming OS has progressed, and represents a "more complete view" of the capabilities of Windows 8.
Individuals are able to have a look at the Windows 8 cloud functionality, and the new user interface that feature tiles which update in real-time. So, if you happen to have a weather app loaded on your device, its tile will automatically be updated any time there is a change in temperature, for instance.
Through this preview, Microsoft has also launched the beta version of the Windows Store, which features a collection of new Metro-style apps created by the company, as well as third-party developers. They can be downloaded for free.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available for download (http://preview.windows.com) in English, French, German, Japanese, and simplified Chinese languages.