Windows 8 Consumer Preview on Feb 29, Claims Invitation

In January Microsoft promised that the public beta of Windows 8 -- now dubbed as Windows 8 Consumer Preview -- would launch by the end of February. Microsoft apparently wasn't kidding, as the beta OS will reportedly go public on the very last day of February: Leap Day AKA February 29.

The news arrives after Microsoft sent out email invitations to a special two-hour Consumer Preview event at MWC 2012 in Barcelona. It's reported that Microsoft will go live with the public beta during that event although the Redmond-based company has not made any official announcements backing the reports.

As previously reported, the Consumer Preview will come packed with a small list of Metro-style apps and two games. The Windows Store, which will supposedly open its doors in a limited fashion once the public beta goes live, will provide eleven gaming titles and possibly other apps. The initial supply of apps will supposedly be free, with paid apps coming this fall.

Also this week brought reports that Microsoft has removed the Start Button for this release, thus allowing the Windows 7 "Superbar" to dominate the entire bottom portion of the screen. The news derives from build 8220 of the Consumer Preview which leaked over the weekend. That said, after years of pressing the Start button since its introduction in Windows 95, it will be interesting to see how we'll manage without it.

If reports are true, we'll find out in exactly three weeks.

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    Top Comments
  • jackbling
    alidanhow often does an os need a change? realistically, microsoft sells new oses every day, so the money stream may not be the be....

    Windows 7 ui is far more efficient; the seconds you save in mouse clicks between things like instant search and pinning items to the taskbar, to name a couple, is invaluable. For anyone who makes heavy use of rdp, the win7 ui is worlds better. not to mention powershell.

    The time i save with a more effective win7 ui can now be wasted posting comments, looking at cat pictures, and playing games. At this point, xp feels dated and cumbersome.
  • Other Comments
  • classzero
    No start button, no thank you.
  • fonzy
    How long is the "Windows 8 Consumer Preview" good for?
  • JohnnyLucky
    At first I thought the change from Windows 7 to 8 came rather quickly. Had to stop and think about it. Figured out I've been using Win 7 for almost 4 years.

    I read about the start button being removed. Might not be that bad since all a user has to do is move a cursor down to the bottom left corner of the screen to where the start button is located. I wonder if Microsoft removed clicking to pop open the menu.