Microsoft has made the final pre-release flavor of Windows 8 available for download a few hours ago, in the form of Windows 8 Release Preview, enabling users to get a taste of the latest enhancements the platform has suffered.
However, given the fact that it is not the final release, the new Windows 8 iteration comes with a series of caveats that might affect the overall user experience.
Users interested in downloading and installing the Release Preview should keep that in mind, while waiting for the next wave of enhancements to arrive from Microsoft.
These improvements will arrive in Windows 8 RTM, which is supposedly set to land in summer, only a few months before Windows 8 becomes commercially available.
According to Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky, the focus in building Windows 8 RTM will be on ensuring that the platform can deliver a quality level above that of Windows 7.
Thus, Microsoft will ensure that the platform offers better reliability, improved core security, offering PC, software, and peripheral compatibility and optimizing resource utilization.
With millions of people already using Windows 8
builds, Microsoft has gathered enough data to enable it to plan ahead for these improvements.
Moving forth, Microsoft will continue to improve the platform based on the feedback received from users, both directly and through usage statistics.
“We’ll be looking hard at every aspect of Windows 8 as we complete the work on the product,” Steven Sinofsky explains.
One of the main areas that Microsoft will focus on for developing Windows 8 RTM is the installation process, both for upgrading from previous releases of Windows 8, or straight from Windows 7.
Moreover, it will work on improving the platform’s security and privacy capabilities, as well as its reliability and the responsiveness that users benefit from. Windows 8 RTM will also offer better device installation and compatibility, as well as improved software compatibility.
Servicing of Windows 8
will also see enhancements, which should result in updates being delivered through Microsoft’s official channel, Windows Update.
One of the most important aspects that Microsoft will focus on for the upcoming platform release is hardware, Steven Sinofsky continues.
“Perhaps the most important category for potential fixes comes from making sure that we work with all the new hardware being made as we all use build 8400
,” he said
“Our PC manufacturing partners and hardware partners are engineering new PCs, and these include hardware combinations that are new to the market and new to the OS. We’re working together to make sure Windows 8 has great support for these new PCs and hardware.”
The platform should see a series of changes to its features set, provided that they will offer a better experience to all users. However, each modification will be carefully deliberated.
“Once we have entered the RTM stage, our partners will begin making their final images and manufacturing PCs, and hardware and software vendors will ready their Windows 8 support and new products,” Steven Sinofsky notes.
“We will also begin to manufacture retail boxes for shipment around the world. We will continue to work with our enterprise customers as well, as we ensure availability of the volume license tools and products.”
Download Windows 8 Release Preview Build 8400