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Windows 8 Public Beta to Drop in Late February, Microsoft Confirms

It has been a couple of months ago that Microsoft finally pushed out the release of its latest mobile operating system update, the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango. But now there's another big software release that keeps the company on their toes. We are talking about of course its upcoming next version of its highly successful desktop operating system Windows, Windows 8.

Windows 8
According to a new report, the software giant has revealed that it is planning to distribute beta copies of Windows 8 in late February. But before that, it has also been confirmed that an updated copy of Windows 8 will be distributed to developers by February 3. The latter announcement was revealed as part of the company's Windows 8 First Apps Contest. The competition pits Windows 8 developers against each other in order to create the best Windows 8 Metro style app between December 6 and January 8.

As for the public beta that will be made available in late February however, it is said to debut alongside the launch of Microsoft's very own app store, simply called Windows Store. The Redmond outfit is progressing steadily towards the beta release and it has in fact recently passed 8160.0.winmain.111122-1913. It has been previously speculated that beta copies will be provided during the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January 2012, but Microsoft was quick to debunk such rumors.
Windows 8 Metro UI
As of this writing, not much is known regarding the features that will be included in the Windows 8 beta. Although there are leaked screenshots indicating that Windows 8 will enable users to change the color of the Start Screen and its background image. All we can expect is that Microsoft will be fine tuning the beta and include minor stability improvements and features.

From the way it looks, Windows 8 will be the biggest overhaul of Windows ever. Aside from desktop computers, Windows 8 can also be installed on new tablet PCs. If you are going to look carefully, Windows 8 seems to be heavily inspired by its mobile counterpart, the Windows Phone 7. This is mainly to the presence of the Metro user interface with its large and brightly colored tiles. Windows 8 has also been heavily optimized for touch interface which makes it perfect for tablets.

We will just have to wait and see in February. Maybe the upcoming beta will finally shed some light regarding the features of Windows 8. [via Winrumors 1,2]

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