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Microsoft Distributing Windows 8 to Key OEMs?

By - Source: Winrumors | B 44 comments

HP and other key OEMs are now receiving pre-release builds of Windows 8.

Recent reports indicate that Microsoft is now distributing build 7971.0.110324-1900 (Windows 8 Milestone 3) to key OEMs (HP etc.) via the company's Connect external testing system. The distribution is by way of a program called Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release Program, and requires a special invite code to gain access to the early build.

The report follows news of a leaked screenshot revealing a System Reset feature in Windows 8. This will allow end-users to reset their systems to the original OEM factory settings without the need for re-formatting and re-installing the OS. Rumors suggest that systems will be reset in a matter of minutes, and will be especially beneficial in removing malware plaguing the system.

Microsoft is reportedly compiling Milestone 3 builds of Windows 8 and is expected to release a full-fledged beta this September. Microsoft first introduced Windows 8 to the public back in January at CES 2011, revealing that the OS could perform normally on ARM-based components offered by Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. The OS is now set to make another public appearance this June, running on tablets.

Unofficial bits of the Windows 8 jigsaw puzzle have been pieced together over the last six months or so, some of which point to a full 3D interface with dynamic shortcuts and icons, to an Aero Lite secondary interface for slower systems. Many reports have indicated that the OS will integrate cloud-based services like backup, security, and even multiple user accounts. The underlying structure itself will supposedly be modular-based, allowing Microsoft to extract portions of the OS to work on smaller devices.

Key OEMs invited into the Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release program will be directed here, although the X's will be replaced by the actual invite code. It's highly probable that these OEMs will be the ones actually providing tablet samples slated for showcasing in June.

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  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 29, 2011 8:09 PM
    T'would be called Bubbles 8 by the looks of it.
  • 1 Hide
    heyhihowyadurrin , March 29, 2011 8:19 PM
    Why Windows 8 already? Is this necessary for anything other than making money?
  • 4 Hide
    HavoCnMe , March 29, 2011 8:30 PM
    We need software companies to develop strictly x64 programs so we can leave x86 software in the dust. JMO
  • Display all 44 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    PreferLinux , March 29, 2011 8:31 PM
    TheCapuletI imagine that's just windows media center, or something similarly stupid. No one in their right mind would make that the primary UI for any OS.

    I agree.
  • 4 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , March 29, 2011 8:32 PM
    heyhihowyadurrinWhy Windows 8 already? Is this necessary for anything other than making money?

    Nope.

    Although you could say Microsoft is back on track with releasing a new OS every 2-3 years. We were EXTREMELY spoiled with Windows XP, as most of us ended up using it for over 8 years. Although, personally I would consider Windows XP two releases. One release being pre-SP2, the other being post-SP2.

    Win 95 - 1995
    Win 98 - 1998
    Win 2000 - 2000
    Win XP - 2001
    Win XP SP2 - 2004
    Win Vista - 2007
    Win 7 - 2009
    Win 8 - 2011/2012?
  • 1 Hide
    outerheaven , March 29, 2011 8:34 PM
    What about Windows ME??
  • 1 Hide
    Xatos , March 29, 2011 8:34 PM
    That feature to essentially reformat and clean install without actually doing so is pretty nice. How many times could that have come in handy in the past? Let's hope it does its job without any hitches or drawbacks, because I sure love the idea.
  • 0 Hide
    aaron88_7 , March 29, 2011 8:36 PM
    Quote:
    The report follows news of a leaked screenshot revealing a System Reset feature in Windows 8. This will allow end-users to reset their systems to the original OEM factory settings without the need for re-formatting and re-installing the OS.

    I wonder how long it will take for a virus to take advantage of this retarded feature.

    Seriously, if you need a button to re-instal Windows because you get so much Malware then even this 'retard button' isn't going to help you. And I completely agree it is way too early to be moving away from Windows 7. But that's Microsoft for you, they just release OS after OS and hope one of them is somewhat of a success. Probably be as popular as Windows ME
  • -3 Hide
    bobusboy , March 29, 2011 8:40 PM
    so help me if DX12 is windows 8 or higher only...... also the bubbles are bloody stupid.
  • 2 Hide
    webbwbb , March 29, 2011 8:42 PM
    Well the primary purpose of a company is to make money.. For some people, this may be a great solution because they may benefit from the integrated cloud features and save a lot of money on malware removal by just resetting the OS rather than paying Geek Squad to "fix" things. It will also add more competition to the tablet and mobile device space with ARM support. Those who don't want to switch can just stick with Windows 7.
  • 2 Hide
    ta152h , March 29, 2011 8:43 PM
    heyhihowyadurrinWhy Windows 8 already? Is this necessary for anything other than making money?


    I agree, it makes support costs that much higher for everyone involved. Trying to remember all the details of so many operating systems is a nightmare for everyone. Also, Windows XP was just a bloated, slow, effeminate version of Windows 2000, and supporting one or the other was almost exactly the same. It was easy. Windows Vista and Windows 7 are quite different, and now Windows 8 looks very different too.

    Microsoft wants money, of course, but the reality is, this is bad for almost everyone else. No one was crying out for a replacement for XP, because the reality is, the OS just doesn't matter that much, and doesn't need to change rapidly. People buy computers for application software, not hardware, or operating systems. Constantly changing the way the OS works, and is supported, adds enormous costs to companies, with little, or no, benefit.

    Of course, if they would leave the interface, and all the commands the same, it wouldn't be so bad. But they have to keep changing it, so they can say it's different, and you need it. People have changed, evolution hasn't made significant difference the past 15 years. Why does Microsoft somehow believe we need things moved here or there? They still don't have an interface as good as OS/2's, of 15 years ago. It's about time they get it right and stop moving everything all over the place, and acting like changing something from a rectangle to a circle is significant and worthwhile. All it does is create support problems.
  • 3 Hide
    aaron88_7 , March 29, 2011 8:46 PM
    I probably should use spell check before complaining about retarded features lol
  • 3 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , March 29, 2011 8:46 PM
    outerheavenWhat about Windows ME??

    Too much fail for me to mention. But that was 2000 as well.
    bobusboyso help me if DX12 is windows 8 or higher only...... also the bubbles are bloody stupid.

    I sure hope they don't release DX12 with Windows 8. Most of the market is STILL using DirectX 9.0c. Not seeing the point of spending all that money on R&D for DX12 if no one is going to use it for another 10 years. Having said that, if they release DX12 with Windows 8, and their next-gen XBox also runs a DX12-based API, then it would make sense.
  • 3 Hide
    warezme , March 29, 2011 8:48 PM
    bubbles looks like a silly concept UI, I seriously doubt it will see that light of production. I am not sure why all the ragging on Windows and malware since I have gone through just about every version of windows up to current Windows 7 Enterprise and have never been the brunt of malware or viruses? I'm the one on the other end usually cleaning them off for others. Yes, if you are an idiot, you will get attacked, that's what malware people bank on. Don't blame the OS for that. I think I would miss the extra cash from removing it.
  • 0 Hide
    bobusboy , March 29, 2011 8:55 PM
    Ragnar-KonToo much fail for me to mention. But that was 2000 as well.I sure hope they don't release DX12 with Windows 8. Most of the market is STILL using DirectX 9.0c. Not seeing the point of spending all that money on R&D for DX12 if no one is going to use it for another 10 years. Having said that, if they release DX12 with Windows 8, and their next-gen XBox also runs a DX12-based API, then it would make sense.


    I can dream can't I?
  • 1 Hide
    jaywed , March 29, 2011 9:05 PM
    Hopefully my Uni gives me a free copy....
  • 0 Hide
    hixbot , March 29, 2011 9:08 PM
    The next big Directx won't be released until the next xbox. Whether that's DX12 or DX13 I'm not sure, but the DirectX that brings huge new features will be released on console first. MS will not let PC gaming hurt its xbox $$$. Any big 3D API advances they make in R&D will be saved until xbox launch.
    That is ofcourse, only if OPENGL doesn't make the leap first (unlikely, OPENGL only plays catch-up).
  • 1 Hide
    jqp10 , March 29, 2011 9:10 PM
    outerheavenWhat about Windows ME??


    For major corporations SP3 was a big roll out

    Win XP SP3 - 2008
  • 1 Hide
    PreferLinux , March 29, 2011 9:13 PM
    Quote:
    The report follows news of a leaked screenshot revealing a System Reset feature in Windows 8. This will allow end-users to reset their systems to the original OEM factory settings without the need for re-formatting and re-installing the OS. Rumors suggest that systems will be reset in a matter of minutes, and will be especially beneficial in removing malware plaguing the system.

    In which case it won't be done properly, thereby leaving all sorts on there.
  • 0 Hide
    jqp10 , March 29, 2011 9:19 PM
    Ragnar-KonNope.Although you could say Microsoft is back on track with releasing a new OS every 2-3 years. We were EXTREMELY spoiled with Windows XP, as most of us ended up using it for over 8 years. Although, personally I would consider Windows XP two releases. One release being pre-SP2, the other being post-SP2.Win 95 - 1995Win 98 - 1998Win 2000 - 2000Win XP - 2001Win XP SP2 - 2004Win Vista - 2007Win 7 - 2009Win 8 - 2011/2012?


    That screenshot reminds me of that Acer Dual screen Touchbook screenshot where you do a multi-touch wrist rotation
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