Near-Final Version of Windows 8 Due in Early June
A near-final “release preview” version of Windows 8 is due in the first week of June, Microsoft confirmed late Monday.
Windows unit President Steven Sinofsky made the announcement at a Windows Developer Days event in Japan.
The release preview follows two earlier test releases, including a “consumer preview” version issued in February.
Although Microsoft hasn’t confirmed a release date for the final version of Windows 8, it is widely expected to be released in time to arrive on PCs this fall.
Windows 8 is a huge bet for Microsoft, as the company is counting on it not only to power mainstream PCs but also to help battle the threat posed by the iPad and other tablets. It features a radically overhauled interface, first shown at last year’s D9 conference, as well as a built-in Windows Store for selling apps.
In addition to computers running traditional processors from Intel and AMD, Windows 8 will also power new tablets and laptops running low-power ARM processors.
The company said last week that Windows 8 will come in a few different flavors, including consumer and pro versions, as well as Windows RT — the name for the version that runs on ARM-based computers.