Microsoft to Launch Consumer Preview of Windows 8 in Barcelona on February 29
Microsoft plans to use the upcoming Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona as a launchpad for the “consumer preview” version of Windows 8.
The company on Wednesday sent out invitations for a Feb. 29 event. Although the invite offered scant details, Microsoft has said to expect a beta version of Windows 8 in late February.
Windows 8 is a big bet for Microsoft. It features a radical overhaul of the look of Windows, including a new Metro-style interface first shown at the D9 conference last year. Microsoft released a developer preview version at its own Build event last fall.
In addition to its new look, Windows 8 features a built-in store, selling an entirely new type of application. Windows 8 will also support both the AMD and Intel chips traditionally used by Windows, as well as the ARM processors commonly found in Android phones and tablets.
Chipmakers and PC manufacturers have said they are expecting the software to arrive later this year, but Microsoft has declined to officially confirm a time frame for the final release. It did call 2012 a “big launch year” on its last earnings conference call.