The Windows 8 Consumer Preview, made available for download today, arrives with a series of graphical changes when compared to the Developer Preview that was released in September last year.
With the new platform version, Microsoft is offering some more info on the manner in which it has reimagined the Windows experience.
Windows 8 was meant to work on a wider range of devices
, including tablet PCs, laptops, desktops and all-in-one PCs. The platform was also intended to deliver fast access to applications, files, information and the like.
Additionally, users will find it easier to move between their Windows 8 PCs to access files and settings from wherever they are.
Not to mention that the operating system arrives with optimizations for both touch and non-touch devices, so that users will be able to enjoy speed when navigating with a mouse and keyboard as well.
In Windows 8 Consumer Preview
, users will spot a new Start menu, though it will offer the same features and capabilities as it did before, including the possibility to launch apps, to share content, switch between tasks, and the like.
“If you’ve seen what we’ve done with Windows Phone, this might look familiar,” Kent Walter, Windows Team, notes in a recent blog post.
“The tiles show real-time updates—news, sports, and what your friends are up to. You can check your schedule or get the latest weather forecast without searching for information—no need to open an app to see your next appointment or find out if you have any new email.
“This design style is great on a phone for getting you to the content you want easily and quickly, and extended to the whole screen of a PC, it’s even better.”
It allows customizations so that information of interest can be easily accessible from a single place. Users can put favorite applications in front, while also being able to group and keep things organized on the Start screen.
On top of that, people will also find it easier to move between PCs, courtesy of the cloud enhancements that Windows 8 Consumer preview arrives on devices with.
“Your music, photos, files, contacts, and settings aren’t stored on one device, they’re in one place: the cloud. I like to write, and I’m not always in the same place when I do it. With a Microsoft account, I can start a project on one Windows 8 PC and finish it on another,” Kent Walter continues.
All that users will need to do to access people, files, and settings, including themes, language preferences, and browser favorites will be to sign in to a Windows 8 PC using their Microsoft account.
Whether it comes to favorite cloud services, such as Hotmail, SkyDrive, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, they can all be linked to the same Microsoft account.
Not to mention that people will benefit from immediate access to their photos, docs and other types of files that have been saved on SkyDrive, Flickr, or elsewhere.
“When you sign in, even a brand new Windows 8 PC will have access to your files and settings. And if you share your Windows 8 PC, anyone else can have their own personalized, cloud-connected experience by signing in with their Microsoft account,” Walter also notes.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Build 8250 is available for download via this link