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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.

  • classzero
    No start button, no thank you.
    Reply
  • fonzy
    How long is the "Windows 8 Consumer Preview" good for?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • alidan
    JohnnyLuckyAt 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.
    how often does an os need a change? realistically, microsoft sells new oses every day, so the money stream may not be the best, but they still make money off the os, supporting the os is also something major... perhaps something like dlc for the os... if xp 64 had the driver support of 7 and ssd capabilities, i would have stuck with xp, and i would have payed extra for those functions.

    i mean realistically, there was no need to change the user interface from xp to 7, and all the changes they made were for change sake, not because they needed to... and in quite a few cases, i dont like it and would rather have xp over 7... but 8gb ram and a 120gb ssd forced me to move to 7.

    its not bad but every day i use it i am reminded constantly of functions they removed for no reason.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • irh_1974
    If they remove the Start button, what will the Windows key on the keyboard do?
    Reply
  • cold fire
    irh_1974If they remove the Start button, what will the Windows key on the keyboard do?It will magically disappear.
    Reply
  • Supernova1138
    Supposedly the start button functionality is still there, you just have to mouse over the place where it used to be to access it, so the Windows key should still do what it always had.
    Reply
  • erunion
    irh_1974If they remove the Start button, what will the Windows key on the keyboard do?On the developer preview its a home button. Takes you to metro screen.
    Reply
  • irh_1974
    erunionOn the developer preview its a home button. Takes you to metro screen.Damn, I was hoping they would wire it to the nuclear missiles instead
    Reply