Windows 8 hits build 8156 as beta approaches

By Tom Warren, on 21st Nov 11 6:47 pm with 41 Comments

Microsoft is moving closer to its first Windows 8 beta, reaching build 8156 recently.

The software giant is currently preparing pre-beta builds of Windows 8 and many Microsoft watchers believe a Windows 8 beta may arrive at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2012. 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. Microsoft is believed to be at build 8156 in its Windows 8 development. MDL forums posted a list of recent builds that include the following:

  • 8150.0.winmain.111107-1833
  • 8152.0.winmain.111109-1832
  • 8153.0.winmain.111110-1848
  • 8154.0.winmain.111111-1830
  • 8155.0.winmain.111114-1813
  • 8156.0.winmain.111116-1900

The latest, built on November 16, shows that Microsoft appears to be making slow and steady progress towards the beta milestone. The Windows 8 developer preview was marked as build 8102 with a compile date of August 24. Microsoft has previously promised that the company plans to issue only one beta of Windows 8 and one Release Candidate before the release to manufacturing of Windows 8. Given the number of builds compiled between now and when the developer preview was made available, Microsoft’s progress could indicate that the beta version of Windows 8 might not be ready in time for CES 2012. Microsoft employees are tight lipped about when the beta will drop and company insiders have revealed to WinRumors that the Windows team is working extremely hard on the quality and features of Windows 8.

If Windows 8 beta isn’t ready for CES 2012 then expect it shortly afterwards.The big OEMs, including HP, Dell and ASUS are all reportedly preparing Windows 8 tablets for Q3 2012. Microsoft is expected to unveil the final version of Windows 8 during the Summer months of 2012 in preparation for a holiday push of new tablets and form factors.

  • Anonymous

    so…build numbers?

  • Wizard

    Lovely!! waiting for the beta!!

  • Guest

    If Windows 8 beta isn’t ready for CES then it doesn’t make it to market before 2013. In which case MS is in big trouble. So here’s hoping they make it.

    • Anonymous

      they know this. if they miss CES, it will not be by much.

    • Guest

      Yeah, “we only missed 2012 by a little” will fix everything.

  • Jairo Luciano Alves

    They probably are working like crazy to get all the huge amount of details done in order to meet this CES deadline. I hope they focus on quality instead of just timing, because this version of Windows has to be nearly flawless from day 1 in order to really win in the marketplace, especially the tablets.

    • Guest

      They’ve been working on it for three years. Obviously quality has to be there, but this is a rewrite of the OS. Timing matters. If they don’t hit in 2012 then it may not matter. Because by then Android and iPad will be too established to unseat. Look at how much trouble WP7 is having trying to get traction after hitting far too late.

    • Guest

      Sorry, should read “isn’t a rewrite’.

    • Anonymous

      Sadly you are correct.  Windows 8 will surely be the superior product, but MS cannot wait too long on releasing it.  So far they have some time since Android on tablets is flailing for the moment.

    • Lewis McCrary

      Spot on.  Everyone will instantly ask the question of “how does it compare to iPad and Android OS?”  That is regardless of the fact that it is NOT a direct competitor to those platforms.

    • Anonymous

      What CES deadline?  CES isn’t day 1, nor any kind of deadline.  There will still be months of development after CES, whether or not a beta is delivered there.

    • Guest

      The one most people see as MS’s last chance to get W8 out in 2012. Windows averages 12 months from beta to in market. So missing CES for the beta would likely mean missing the year for general availability. Obviously development goes on either way. But the impact of missing 2012 would be considerable.

  • Pierre Venescar

    the beta version will better both the ipad and Ice Cream Sandwich. And it will also have more downloads than there is android tablets out there

    • Anonymous

      well, not to mention ICS is a phone OS, not a productivity OS.

    • Guest

      Who cares if once every three years MS can edge slightly ahead for a month or two, with a beta version, only to fall behind again for the next three years? MS has a agility problem and the downside of that are becoming increasingly obvious. I frankly worry about the decision to tie their tablet OS strategy to Windows once every three years upgrade path. The two just aren’t compatible.

    • Tomas McGuinness

      You must consider that Windows is a far older OS and more complete. iOS has been refreshing once a year adding more and more features. It’s a very young OS compared to Windows. However, I agree that a three year refresh cycle will make people thing their tablet is getting stale. Maybe MS will adopt their R2 server strategy with Windows 8, or release service packs that include new functionality rather than just bug fixes/performance fixes..

  • Danigut

    “Given the number of builds compiled between now and when the developer preview was made available, Microsoft’s progress could indicate that the beta version of Windows 8 might not be ready in time for CES 2012″

    ^^ how does the build number indicate anything about the progress? especially since microsoft is branching the development tree all the time.

    • Yves707

      totally agree!!! ;)))

    • GreyWolf

      Usually it means that all the departments are checking in their code.

    • Seth_p

      Tom’s a noob lol

  • Anonymous

    If the beta is as stable as the Windows 7 beta, then I will probably start using it on my desktop as my primary OS.  I just wish touch screen monitors would start becoming more prevalent and economic.

    • Tim Mariner

      I agree.  I was very impressed with the stability of the Win 7 beta.  I dumped Vista for it like a bad prom date.

    • Parker Ciambrone

      Same, I run dual monitors and if I could afford just one being a capacitive that would be awesome, but alas.

    • Anonymous

      Looking at Newegg right now, the lowest price for a 22inch is about $300.  Hell, I have seen some All in One’s cheaper than that.  Considering regular 22inch monitors are as low as $100 now, I really do hope Win 8 spurs some price cutting, and fast.

    • Guest

      Reaching out to a 22″ screen would get pretty old, pretty fast. I’d much prefer to see a trackpad of some sort for desktop use.

    • Mike

      Or at least all-in-oneS.

    • doctorwhofan98

      I’ll do the same! I did it with the Windows 7 beta (and dropped XP) and didn’t regret it! :-)

  • Anonymous

    They need to release some drivers for currently available tables, say kindle fire!. Show win8 in current hardware is more exciting than runing it on a laptop.

  • JimmyFal

    Minor changes? There better be some major changes. Like grouping of Program Items for example on the start screen. I had to revert back to Win 7 after two months. It would not run Avid Studio. Got tired of trying to pry it on there. I’ll be back on the next beta for sure. Really anxious to see what they do with Office. Real opportunity coming up here. They better show the developers how it is supposed to be done or vice versa.

    • Anonymous

      I was hoping for some major changes to the UI, too. The Developer Preview is as stable as it can be, and it is fast. But the interface doesn’t work for me. I really tried it, but the two worlds of Aero versus Metro is terrible in a day-to-day use. The new Start screen just doesn’t feel right on a desktop PC, but the most terrible thing is the “new” search…

  • Niko

    I hope the new DVD creator WORKS!!

  • Anonymous

    Poor guys. So much pressure.

  • Anonymous

    I have HP DV6 with Capacitive Touchscreen, Win8 works really well on it.
    I am  having Core i7 and 6GB RAM, it under-clocks the processor…and used ~1.5gigs of RAM
    I am using it as my primary OS…but it gives 5-10 BSOD in a day :-(.
    I didn’t get even a single Win7 BSOD on this machine till date. 

  • Guest

    If build numbers are getting slowly incremented doesn’t it mean there are less changes and code is locked down?

  • doctorwhofan98

    Can’t wait for the beta! Or the RC! Whichever includes the Windows Live apps (I know the Developer Preview doesn’t). :-)

  • M-pulver

    Been running 8 on an Acer Iconia Tab for 3 weeks. Runs amazing. No hanging, no issues whatsoever. Runs office 2010 amazing. all good so far.

    • Mike

      Oh yeah, and how did YOU get it already?

    • Wonk

      probably the dev preview

  • Pycur

    Computer is for use. The using standards had been set in the last 15 years. You have mouse, you have icons, you have menu bars and you can do everything on the PC!Now you won’t have mouse, won’t have menu and probably won’t have icons just a few, that means you cannot do anything, just what ms let you to do. Fewer settings, fewer menu, fewer brain, that’s what they want.Why do you need to use your fingers instead of the extremly precise mouse? I can’t imagine users playing COD with touchscreen or without keyboard :DWith mouse you can select a single pixel, while you may select a round of 1cm with your finger. It won’t be useful with drawing programs like photoshop. :)Using multitouch is a big ‘peasant glare/bullshit’, you can move objects on the screen with mouse, and you can resize images/objects on the screen by mouse scroll or pull the edge or corner. And most important with mouse, you won’t dirty your monitor, and also don’t have to lift up your arms for every single click. Just try it yourself browsing on the net, i bet you have to rest in 5-10-15 minutes :DTouchscreen won’t give you any benefits.

  • Robot Kutya

    Double post…please delete.

  • Anonymous