Microsoft planning to distribute an updated copy of Windows 8 to developers by February 3

By Tom Warren, on 7th Dec 11 11:47 am with 32 Comments

Windows 8 laptop

Microsoft is planning to distribute a private updated copy of Windows 8 to developers by February 3.

Microsoft revealed the details as part of its Windows 8 First Apps Contest. The competition allows developers to create a Windows 8 Metro style app between December 6 and January 8. If contestants are successful then they progress to round two of the competition. The second round of the competition runs from January 16 through to February 3. Microsoft states that round 2 contestants will “join a new Beta Program to download an updated, confidential build of Windows 8 from connect.microsoft.com, per instructions that Microsoft will send to all finalists.”

Developers who enter the contest will need to test their application against the updated Windows 8 build. during January 16 to February 3. WinRumors previously revealed that the Windows 8 beta sign-off is on track for January with a big demo planned for CES. Microsoft confirmed on Tuesday that the beta would not be available until late February. It’s clear that Microsoft is planning to distribute some type of interim build or early beta copy of Windows 8 to developers in mid to late January, based on their competition rules. This aligns well with the information we previously received.

Microsoft is also planning to provide a preview copy of its next-generation Office 15 suite in late January too. Current self hosting builds of Windows 8 internally at Microsoft are labelled as beta and Microsoft will begin an escrow phase towards its beta build sign off later this year. 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://techin5.com Jubbin Grewal @Techin5.com

    So. How does one apply for said ‘beta build’ ;)

    • Seth_p

      Show skin…? :s

    • http://techin5.com Jubbin Grewal @Techin5.com

      Hehe.

    • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

      If they handle it just like the Developer Preview–which I’ve seen every indication it will be–Microsoft will publish a link to the download.  You didn’t have to apply to download the Developer Preview.  You just go to the link and download it.

    • http://techin5.com Jubbin Grewal @Techin5.com

      Yea, the Developer Preview aka the Alpha build was open to everyone, however I keep getting the feeling they’re heading down the WP7 route of keeping the beta builds for dev’s only. Have a dev account for that, but not for Windows (unless they’re the same thing and I’m just noob talking it up).

      Still, if it’s open to everyone I’ll be happy to sit back and click download. Although wouldn’t midn trying to buy a cheap wp7 tablet and loading it up.

  • Kaey

    that’s a little unfair. why do we, the public, have to wait so long for the beta? I’m so tired of the green background of the Start Screen, I mean, even the black background of my Windows Phone would look a little better? plus, I so want a touch screen to take advantage of Windows 8. DAMN MY NON-TOUCH LAPTOP.

    • Emi Cyberschreiber

      then… hack shsxs.dll to change background and uxtheme.dll to change colors… and stop complaining?
      because its silly to complain about something you already can do by yourself, yeah hacking some dll but it can be done, even you can download hacked dlls and just replace them and ready…

      metrothemes.deviantart.com (yeah go here)

    • http://twitter.com/SCGreyWolf GreyWolf

      Because the App Store will be in the beta and developers need time to test and publish their apps.

  • Mr Lefleur

    Am lost here, the beta won’t be freely available like the developer preview? Please say it isn’t so

    • Anonymous

      As the article states, the Beta will first be distributed to devs then be widely available in late Feb.

  • phil jay

    I somehow feel I read the same over and over again… maybe because 3/4 of this post consists of summaries of older posts.. -.-

    • Jason123

      LOL. You are new to Winrumors then. This is not a place for you, Get lost.

    • phil jay

      maybe it’s because I read the last 100 winrumor posts and am too lazy to identify which paragraph is new and which one is summary from older news? just a little heading saying “summary” or “what happened before” would be really cool.

    • Guest

      The summary provides context for those who may be new to the material. If you can’t recall what you’ve read previously, then perhaps the issue isn’t laziness but something more sinister, like the onset of early stage dementia?

  • Jason123

    This is a stupid post trying to prove that your previous info was correct  ! ! Growup Tom.. You were wrong on timing.

    • Anonymous

      How do you know he was wrong on timing? Microsoft is promising a new build to devs by Feb 3 – who knows if that’s beta or not? Just because public won’t get it till end of Feb, doesn’t mean Tom was wrong on timing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001395218690 Pantou Ekang

      Tom was wrong..FULL STOP

    • Guest

      Apparently you can’t read.

    • Guest

      How was he wrong on timing when he just reported what All Things Digital confirmed as accurate? Do you have an official statement from MS promising general availability of the beta before late Feb?

  • Jhonhunkliv

    LOL.. “WinRumors previously revealed” ?? It should be speculated. Every day Microsoft will have some sort of pre-beta build. Beta coming only in late February.

    • http://www.winrumors.com Tom W

      We’ll see what the final beta build number and date is :)

  • Mr Lefleur

    7 comments but showing 0 comments

  • http://twitter.com/RobertCFP Robert Wade

    I find it amusing that some folks get all upset about the developers getting the beta first.  Talk about SPOILED BRATS.  Most betas are NOT public, but are by application only.  It’s actually pretty nice that Microsoft has opened up the doors dramatically on Windows 8 development.  Just enjoy it….or sit down, shut up and color.

    • Anonymous

      I guess the 99% of consumers are jealous at the 1% of developers :)  Lets just hope they don’t “Occupy” Redmond over it.

    • Anonymous

      Everybody benefits from that open strategy. And the overall quality of Microsoft’s pre-release software is one of the best. Even the Developer Preview runs pretty stable and now is the best time to give them some constructive criticism.

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

    Microsoft need to deal with the malware problem before porting the full blown Windows OS over to the tablet (where users simply want to “use” the device when they want where they want). 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.

    • Guest

      Do you seriously think that MS isn’t aware of this? And malware on Android is a very large and rapidly growing problem, made worse by their lax marketplace approval process.

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

      Yes but malware on the market place can be solved by simply uninstalling the app. Furthermore, if you carefully choose the app you install (only install from “big name” vendors) the chance of getting an Android malware is very slim (you may also want to install AV for Android but I never really tested its efficiency.

    • Anonymous

      Just like in Windows 7. If you’re careful with what you download, you won’t get infected. I’ve gotten hit by malware installing itself from a website on XP. It has never happened in W7. There is always a message that warns you that a website is trying to upload a file.

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

      But what I mean is that malware on mobile OS are EASY to remove since they cannot “touch” the “base” operating system. That isn’t the case with Windows OS.

      Therefore, I think the tablet version of Windows 8 should have its core operating system files “locked down” and unchangable (like Windows Phone 7). Windows is never a tablet OS since it requires “power” hardware and tablets are always light on the hardware site.

    • tcsimpson@sbcglobal.net

      Dont be stupid, didn’t you read about OEM’s complaining about the me way win8 will be booted to prevent malware, etc. I believe in was a linux guy complaining about it. Look thru historical articles for the site. Technically when windows 8 arrives, you wont need to have a third party AV, but MS can’t say that. Stay up on you information.

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

      Yes I read it but it looks like a good tool but will OEM disable this feature? Also, the base system files is still not locked so viruses can change the files (unless they implement a feature to check the boot files like the way Chrome OS do [not quite sure if Mac OS X check the boot files]).