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.