Microsoft has announced the availability of the Windows 8 Release Preview, marking the new operating system’s entrance into the final phase of development before it releases to manufacturing.
The February release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview was downloaded more than one million times in the first 24 hours, making it the most tested Microsoft operating system of all time.
Available for download in 14 languages, Windows 8 has a new user interface that responds equally well to touch as it does to keyboard and mouse.
It offers increased personalisation options for the Start screen, improved multi-monitor support, and refinements to app discovery through the Windows Store.
Highlights include Bing Travel, News and Sports apps, as well as Gaming and Music Xbox apps that integrate with a user’s Zune pass.
Additional feature tweaks include improvements made to the Mail, Photos and People apps that initially debuted with the Consumer Preview version.
There are also new Family Safety features, in addition to enriched privacy and security controls when browsing online such as Do Not Track capabilities turned on by default for Internet Explorer 10.
Along with full integration with Adobe Flash Player, the browser now features enriched support for touch, with a new capability called “flip ahead” that allows users the option to flip between pages with the swipe of a finger.
From June 2 till Jan 31, 2013, consumers who buy eligible Windows 7-based PCs can purchase an upgrade to Windows 8 Pro once it is launched for an estimated retail price of US$14.99 (RM48).
Bundled with 90 days of support from Microsoft, the upgrade must be redeemed before the programme’s expiration on Feb 28, 2013.
At the same time, Malaysian small and medium sized business (SMB) customers who upgrade to Windows 7 on Open License with Software Assurance will enjoy a 30% discount and a free upgrade to Windows 8 once it is launched.
Software Assurance also entitles the SMB customers to 24x7 support, home-use rights, and step-up rights to Windows 7 Enterprise Edition with Bitlocker Drive Encryption.
++++ preview.windows.com www.windowsupgradeoffer.com
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