Microsoft has begun to distribute early copies of Windows 8 to key OEM partners, WinRumors has learned.
The software giant is distributing build 7971.0.110324-1900 via the company’s Connect external testing system. Key OEMs, including HP, are now able to access the Milestone 3 build from Connect. The program is advertised as Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release Program, on Microsoft’s connect site and requires a special invite code, according to one poster at the My Digital Life forums.
The Connect news follows recent leaks of a system reset function in Windows 8. Microsoft is expected to be readying a Windows 8 beta for September. Microsoft’s primary Windows 8 interface is believed to be fully 3D. The interface will be “fully dynamic” and able to adapt to user habits. Icons and shortcuts will adapt to different usage scenarios to speed up daily tasks. Windows 8 is also rumored to include a new fast hibernation system. The system will hibernate in around three to six seconds and save all open documents and running tasks. Rumors suggest that Microsoft will create a dual-UI for Windows 8. A tile-based user interface codenamed “Mosh” will reportedly be included.
Microsoft has so far been extremely quiet on the Windows 8 front. Windows Chief, Steven Sinofsky, took to the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to introduce a technology preview of Microsoft’s Windows ARM support and show off an early build of Windows 8. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices.