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Report: Public Windows 8 Beta Coming in February

By - Source: Read Write Web | B 57 comments

Rumors point to a February release for Microsoft's public beta of Windows 8.

Microsoft may have released a developer preview of Windows 8 a few months back, but Redmond has still given little indication as to when the non-developing public will get a chance to play around with the next iteration of Windows. With 2011 drawing to a close, we'll soon enter Windows 8's launch year, and it appears the beginning of 2012 could shape up to be quite Windows 8-centric.

We've already heard the reports that say Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will talk a lot about Windows 8 during his CES keynote in January. However, the latest scuttlebutt says Microsoft will release the public Windows 8 beta will be released shortly after CES. Read Write Web cites sources close to Microsoft in reporting that the public beta will hit in late February of next year. The site's sources couldn't confirm the feature set, saying that this has yet to be nailed down and will be decided by the Windows 8 engineers based on which components are ready for public consumption.

Earlier this month we heard that the Windows 8 install process had been streamlined by Microsoft. The company said that users will be able to install Windows 8 in as few as 11 clicks, depending on their existing OS, migration choices, install method, and the number of blocking issues needed to be resolved before the PC is ready for installation.

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  • 16 Hide
    cronik93 , December 4, 2011 10:30 PM
    Just seems too early... I love Win7 so much.
  • 15 Hide
    jhansonxi , December 4, 2011 9:12 PM
    I sure it will be leaked long before February.
  • 14 Hide
    megasamsung , December 4, 2011 10:06 PM
    Everyone always hates Vista but I loved it. The biggest reason was the searchbar in the start menu. I also liked the introduction of gadgets. Stickynotes and cpu meter were great. The only program I ever had problems with was KOTOR II and with one download that problem was fixed.
Other Comments
  • 15 Hide
    jhansonxi , December 4, 2011 9:12 PM
    I sure it will be leaked long before February.
  • 4 Hide
    cheemster , December 4, 2011 9:18 PM
    Windows 7 was good, Windows 8 will be an improved version if Windows 7. Will be using the beta most likely.
  • -8 Hide
    SirGCal , December 4, 2011 9:25 PM
    I'm not holding my breath. Vista was soooo bad... 7 finally fixed it. But there's a ton of major changes to 8 that I'm very concerned about and not a simple way to make it differently... At least not unless they have a bunch of differences between the current developer's preview and the released beta. But right now, I'm not even considering 8... But we'll see. It'll likely take a year or more to see release anyhow but...
  • 9 Hide
    soccerdocks , December 4, 2011 9:49 PM
    SirGCalI'm not holding my breath. Vista was soooo bad... 7 finally fixed it. But there's a ton of major changes to 8 that I'm very concerned about and not a simple way to make it differently... At least not unless they have a bunch of differences between the current developer's preview and the released beta. But right now, I'm not even considering 8... But we'll see. It'll likely take a year or more to see release anyhow but...


    I disagree. Ignoring the metor UI and assuming that at release it will be able to be completely disabled. Window 8 will be an improvement on 7. Its got a lot of new features and tweaks, like the file transfer manager and multi-core boot, that will make it better. I am looking forward to its release.
  • 14 Hide
    megasamsung , December 4, 2011 10:06 PM
    Everyone always hates Vista but I loved it. The biggest reason was the searchbar in the start menu. I also liked the introduction of gadgets. Stickynotes and cpu meter were great. The only program I ever had problems with was KOTOR II and with one download that problem was fixed.
  • 9 Hide
    bison88 , December 4, 2011 10:13 PM
    SirGCalI'm not holding my breath. Vista was soooo bad... 7 finally fixed it. But there's a ton of major changes to 8 that I'm very concerned about and not a simple way to make it differently... At least not unless they have a bunch of differences between the current developer's preview and the released beta. But right now, I'm not even considering 8... But we'll see. It'll likely take a year or more to see release anyhow but...



    Vista wasn't nearly as bad as people made it seem. Initially it had very little support from the industry, Microsoft has learned the lesson to keep the industry close especially when you plan to do a radical overhaul. They're working very close with the right people both hardware and software based, to keep that from happening again.

    As far as whatever problems are currently wrong with Windows 8, well that's what a Public Beta is for. To get as many willing participants to test out the software, use it in thousands of different ways and run into and report any problems, bugs, or issues they have. You can't knock Windows 8 before it's technically even in Beta.
  • 16 Hide
    cronik93 , December 4, 2011 10:30 PM
    Just seems too early... I love Win7 so much.
  • 7 Hide
    mugiebahar , December 4, 2011 10:36 PM
    Vista was fine if you had the right hardware. Yeah it was new but i bought it day 2 of release and never had 1 problem. Its funny my whole family and friends are "techies", but I always asked whats so bad about vista to them. They all said "well I heard", not very good especailly coming from from people who should know whats going on. But I always said try it then criticise. They ALL said they were wrong. Vista was good as long as you had the right hardware. Windows 8 will be different too, but im so looking forward to the ecosystem that windows has coming together. It will be a big relief from the segmented system that is going on now.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , December 4, 2011 10:52 PM
    Vista was perfectly fine if you weren't running 1 gb of ram and a P4, I see no difference with Windows 8. It just got bashed so badly mainly because of under powered hardware and Apple commercials.
  • 2 Hide
    11796pcs , December 4, 2011 10:57 PM
    I agree that Windows Vista was good as well. The problem was that it required so much more from PCs, and buying the cheapest out there (like so many do) didn't cut it. People with 1 GB of RAM in their PCs and poor GPUs just couldn't do very much. And also, the average consumer keeps their PC looking like trash with all the bloatware that they install which didn't help the problem. Microsoft could have averted problems if they had worked with the industry better, streamlined the OS hardware consumption a bit more, and bumbed up the requirements (like 2 GB instead of 1 and a 1.5 GHz processor instead of 1.0)
  • -1 Hide
    livebriand , December 4, 2011 11:01 PM
    Vista ran all right with a 2.8GHz HT Pentium 4 northwood, 2GB DDR 400MHz, and a Geforce 6200, but not great, and it was enough that I ended up downgrading to XP. The thing is, with the right hardware, it wasn't at all bad. I think Windows 8 has good improvements behind-the-scenes, but the metro ui SUCKS unless you have a tablet, and even then, it's just okay. Windows 7, as it is, is quite good and I see no real reason to make major changes to the UI. I think Windows 8's explorer is a bit more convoluted than before, and that's not necessary. However, I definitely like the new task manager in all aspects, easier to use, the graphs are easier to read (bright green lines on a dim green background with green lines in there just isn't very good), and now when you ask it to kill a program it actually ends the program rather than asking it to end politely, taking forever (it might be good to have a 'Are you sure?' warning incase someone accidentally clicks the wrong thing though). A few other things - get rid of the little 'click' navigation noise in IE and Explorer, and speed up MenuShowDelay by default to 100ms or so (like a lot of linux distros and Mac OS X).
  • 2 Hide
    livebriand , December 4, 2011 11:05 PM
    As for vista, another thing - keep in mind that by the time Windows 7 was released hardware had improved quite a bit, so make the OS a little lighter, and new PCs are MUCH faster. I mean, wtf, why were vista PCs made with only 1GB RAM? No wonder why they were slow.
  • -4 Hide
    livebriand , December 4, 2011 11:09 PM
    fruityteaVista was perfectly fine if you weren't running 1 gb of ram and a P4, I see no difference with Windows 8. It just got bashed so badly mainly because of under powered hardware and Apple commercials.

    I think Windows 8 may be even better there. For instance, you don't need GPU support for aero transparency now. I've got aero even though I'm running Windows 8 in virtualbox, and it won't accept vbox's windows 7 video driver (code 37).
  • -3 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , December 4, 2011 11:38 PM
    I can't wait to see it, and Kinect for PC! I sure hope they're integrated.
  • -1 Hide
    memadmax , December 4, 2011 11:41 PM
    I don't like Metro... And by the looks of it, I don't like the "underlying" desktop either...
  • -2 Hide
    blazorthon , December 4, 2011 11:53 PM
    My greatest problems with vista were always the ridiculous overhead it had compared to XP. On a machine with 2GiB RAM (very common computers until after windows 7 came out) I usually had less than 1GiB of free RAM when I had nothing running. Windows 7 improved on that somewhat but windows 8 is improving on that even more. Considering the difference in RAM usage between windows 7 and server 2008r2 I would really like a copy of windows 8 server but Microsoft isn't giving it out for free to everyone right now like the desktop version.
  • -2 Hide
    sincreator , December 5, 2011 12:21 AM
    I wonder if we will get to try it out as long as the Win 7 RC1. Would be nice.
  • -5 Hide
    de5_Roy , December 5, 2011 12:27 AM
    biggest reason for windows 8: bulldozer scheduler fix. that will stop a lot of whining.
    anyway, win 8 looks quite lightweight but stronger than previous versions. i am skeptical about a few things:
    how ms will juggle two versions (tablet and pc)
    how important the metro ui would be. the start menu in win 8 didn't seem as effective as 7.
    with ms trying to steer two very different os optimization-wise, arm and x86, (although they're the same outside) how much secure will they be. ms is notorious for os vulnurability.
    will it let us play crysis?
  • -4 Hide
    pjmelect , December 5, 2011 12:31 AM
    Vista was a dog. Compared to XP it was much harder to use and had some senseless changes that just made it frustrating to use, the original version was also full of bugs. Even after two service packs it still leaves a lot to be desired. Windows 7 is a big improvement on Vista but still lacks some of XP's features and useability. Windows 8 so far while having some good points such as the task manager, at the moment falls far behind even Vista in useability and bugs. However it is to early to decide if Windows 8 will be better than Windows 7 or worse than Vista as things are still in a state of change. On the desktop Metro sucks, so one of the changes that needs to be made is to make it easy to turn it off.
  • -2 Hide
    aidynphoenix , December 5, 2011 12:41 AM
    cmon microsoft!! try and get it out sooner, i'l slap a spare drive in here and give it a few testruns, from what i saw before im not interested, but this will be your chance to change that.
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