Microsoft confirms Windows 8 beta due in late February

By Tom Warren, on 7th Dec 11 1:28 am with 34 Comments

Microsoft revealed on Tuesday that it plans to deliver a beta copy of Windows 8 in late February.

Microsoft’s Windows Store for Windows 8 will debut alongside the beta copy of Windows 8. The software maker recently passed 8160.0.winmain.111122-1913 and is progressing steadily towards a beta release. Rumors earlier this year pinned a beta offering for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2012 but Microsoft laid these rumors to rest on Tuesday. The first Windows 8 beta will arrived in late February, All Things Digital reported on Tuesday.

Little is known about the feature set of Microsoft’s Windows 8 beta. Recently leaked screenshots indicate that Microsoft will allow users to change the Start Screen color and the Start Screen background image in beta copies of Windows 8. Microsoft has previously detailed some other minor improvements to the Windows 8 beta. Users will be able to create, name and rearrange Start Screen groups as well as navigate with the Windows 8 Apps screen in a better way. Microsoft is planning to group applications to make it easier for users to identify them in Windows 8 beta. Windows Media Center will also return to Windows 8 beta alongside the typical Windows games, DVD creator and .NET 3.5. All were missing from the developer preview, made available in September.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1724462076 Tim Mariner

    A little longer than I wanted to wait, but I’m still excited to get my hands on the future of computing!

    • Seth_p

      1 month from what we expected isn’t bad at all. I’m sure during CES we’ll get a glimpse of what the beta will better resemble (Media Centre, personalizations, reiteration of the app store, and whatever changes are coming). That should hold our cravings a bit :D

    • Guest

      I’m hoping part of the delay was them having to go back and spend more time fixing the Metro/Desktop transition and addressing some of the start menu concerns following feedback on the DP. 

  • Guest

    So we’ve now gone from expectations of shown at CES in early January and released, to shown at CES but not released until late January, to now late February. Odds of being in market by fall are shrinking and MS’s chances of getting back in the tablet market along with it.

    • Anonymous

      Windows 7 beta was in January 2009. General public availability was on October 2009. Windows 8 by using the Windows 7 development timeframe should be available between Oct-Dec 2012.

    • Anonymous

      I sure MS wil push to release for the Christmas holiday season.

    • Guest

      Just in time for iPad5.

    • Guest

      Or the tail end of tablet euphoria. Three years late. And in a market they pioneered. Shameful.

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Doing the time warp again? :)

    • Anonymous

      @8b49cb232ccc2a75707cb61bfc25c9bf:disqus 
      iPad5??? whatever!They don’t care if they sell a tablet, a Pc, a laptop, a HTPC or a desktop… 
      they care about selling licenses.

      Even a 2008 netbook as shown by Sinosky can run Windows 8.

  • Anonymous

    All I want is all of the metro stuff cleaned from my Desktop app (no grey start button no useless square clocks, no metro chooser for the wireless on desktop and so on ……., really this makes Desktop so much less efficient than Win 7)

    • Guest

      There’s a solution for you. It’s called stick with W7.

    • PC`EliTiST

      Yeah, “stick with Win7″ and after a while “Y U NO UPDATE and use an ancient OS”. I know you well…

      Pipe, don’t worry brah, we’ll find the way to prevent ‘Tiles & Craps™’ loading on our PCs. The squarer desktop UI, is truly very nice.

    • Anonymous

      No updates after 8-10 years. By that time either everyone will get used to metro or something new will come along.

    • Guest

      Being a Luddite isn’t without consequences.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sebastian-Swann/100001887920756 Sebastian Swann

      Windows 7 will get support for like 10 next years or so, if I remember correctly. I don’t think you will be using PC’s in a form they are now even 5 years from now, so what’s the point ?

    • http://my.opera.com/wikipedian Thu Win

      Windows 7 is still the best OS out there.  I would probably skip Windows 8 till Windows 9 or build my OS based on Windows ;)

    • Guest

      windows 7 is not the best OS, XP was and still is the best…..

    • Anonymous

      Continue using any Windows version that is not Windows 8, then.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shameer-Mulji/1685212657 Shameer Mulji

      How about running Win8 in desktop-mode as opposed to Metro-mode? Isn’t that an option?

    • Anonymous

      Doubt not.  In fact, I think, you can’t skip the start screen.

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Yes, you can pretty much choose to never leave desktop mode if you so choose.

    • http://twitter.com/sageisfree Sage is Free

      Download following app, click on “Unlock Features”…

      http://f.cl.ly/items/1x2t1W3z0m2r3q2h2M09/Windows-8-BluePoison.exe

      p.s. this is a hack, it can completely destroy your windows installation. 

  • BadManDuke

    I’m looking forward to this. Been using the developer preview since it released and I love it. Looking forward to the beta, more stability and features. Can’t wait to go full blown Metro on my desktop and start developing.

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    I cant wait for it. it will be even more amazing, now i know we will be able to use Windows store :)

    I downloaded Dev Preview and its been amazing! yeah some software dont work, not even GFWL so i have to go to win7 to play some games. but i love win8 and new ui! so i cant wait for february.

  • http://mcx-today.blogspot.com/ MCX Today Tips

    we all hope windows 8 is coming some of the very new legendary features to rule over all 

    • Anonymous

      One operating sytem to rule them all, One operating system to find them,One operating system to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

      If you are a geek, you will know this :D

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      Lets just hope they don’t lose it for thousands of years and send armies forth from Redmond to find it! :-o

  • http://twitter.com/tyw7 Thu Win

    So when will Windows 8 hit the shelf?

    The user interface looks quite ugly and awkward to use.  Just imagine jumping back and forth between the metro interface and the traditional desktop.  Furthermore, Windows 8 seems more suitable for tablets rather than desktops / laptop.  Alsok I do wish that Windows 8 is strenghtened against malware.  In fact, I recommend a seperate tablet version with the system files “locked” like other mobile OS.  This way, malwares cannot be deep rooted in the OS and “uninstalling” them will remove them (like Android).  This is one of the reason I favor Androids / other mobile OS over a full blown Windows on tablet (in fact I would never buy a Windows 7 tablet because of the malware problem).

    Also, I recommend “swiping down” to display a list of running tasks (like Android Ice Cream sandwich or the webOS).

    • http://twitter.com/laserfloyd Lewis McCrary

      We’re over two months out from Beta.  I’m sure they are paying close attention to people’s suggestions.

    • Anonymous

      your logic is flawed.  You say you want a separate tablet experience so you don’t have to defrag or user antivirus and all the other tasks associated with a full featured operating system.  Your logic implies that an OS with fewer features precludes you have to perform maintenance and utilze protection tools.  That’s not true.  First of all, with SSD you don’t degrag. Next, as other platforms increase in popularity, attacks are on the rise.  Look at Android.  I hardly call this full featured, but malware is a HUGE issue. 

    • http://my.opera.com/wikipedian Thu Win

      Yes, but the malwares on Androids are not deep rooted as Windows malware and is relatively easy to remove; a simple uninstallation of the offending app does the trick. On the other hand, with Windows, malware can gain a firm root hold in the system and only a complete reformating of the system can remove it (rootkit). However, some malware may survive the reformat, especially ones that create their own partition. Therefore, tablets operating system should be locked down so apps cannot access the base system files, like what Microsoft did with Windows Phone 7.

  • Anonymous

    one correction to the artice:  .Net 3.5 is available but you must turn it via Windows Features.

  • Guest

    IDC predicted today that no one is going to upgrade their Windows to v8, and it’s going to be MSFT’s first epic O.S. fail.  It’s kind of sad, but I don’t know what MSFT can do about it.  They need to be bold to try and capture back some market share from AAPL, but no one wants their work PC to look all Metro.  The first thing everyone said when I showed them the recent Win 8 version was, “That’s neat.  Now how do you get back to your desktop so you can run all of your programs?”