Windows 8 preview build now available for OEMs – Tech Products & Geek News | Geek.com

When Microsoft released Windows 7 it was a worrying time for Microsoft. Windows Vista was terrible, and Windows 7 was an operating system Microsoft had to get right to rebuild confidence with consumers and business users alike. It did that by releasing a preview build anyone could experiment with months before the final release, and by responding to feedback.That was 2009, and now Microsoft is gearing up to launch Windows 8. A roadmap leaked early last year showed the timetable to get Windows 8 on PCs was set at July 2011, but we’ve also heard it could be 2012. Whatever the case, Microsoft is now offering a preview build of the new OS to key manufacturing partners OEMs.The version made available is called Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release Program build 7971.0.110324-1900. It is only available through the Microsoft Connect system and only with an invite code. So while this isn’t a release that’s going to be publicly available, it does suggest Microsoft is nearing completion of the operating system. It is also believed a beta of Windows 8 could appear by September.While Windows 7 was all about repairing confidence, Windows 8 is about expanding the platforms the OS can run on while embracing 3D. Windows 8 will run on the ARM architecture, a first for Microsoft’s main desktop OS. It is also expected to have the option of a fully-3D interface if you have the hardware to support it.Microsoft introduced support for ARM with a demonstration of Windows 8 already running on the new architecture at CES. There was a Qualcomm Snapdragon, Texas Instruments OMAP, and Nvidia Tegra 2 laptop all on display running the new OS, but with the Windows 7 interface:

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via Windows 8 preview build now available for OEMs – Tech Products & Geek News | Geek.com.

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