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Dec 7, 2011

Windows 8 Beta in Late February, 500M Windows 7 Licenses Sold to Date

One of the details that Microsoft shared with the world when unveiling the new Windows Store was the fact that Windows 8 will be released in Beta in Late February 2012. 

Some of the latest rumors on the matter already suggested this, yet official confirmation arrived only yesterday during an event in San Francisco.

Of course, Microsoft kept mum on any detail on the upcoming Windows 8 milestone, and it appears that we’ll have to wait for CES to kick off in January to learn more on this.

In the meantime, however, we’ll have to rely on leaks to make an idea of what the Redmond-based company might have up its sleeve for us.

One major change from the currently available Windows 8 Developer Preview will be the availability of applications in the Windows Store, but there are some other changes as well for users to enjoy.

Leaked screenshots from some of the latest Windows 8 Builds show a series of tweaks brought to the Metro UI and to the Start Screen, complemented by a series of changes under the hood as well.

Windows 8 Beta is expected to replace the Control Panel with a new folder, PC Settings, and should also include some new features related to storage.

It would have a slightly modified Charms Bar as well, along with re-located date and time, now placed to the left side of the screen. Support for new finger gestures is also expected.

Of course, it should improve usability and stability as well when compared to the Developer Preview, not to mention that it will provide users with a taste of the first Metro-style applications.

While all these are expected to improve the experience of users owning touch-enabled Windows machines, they will not mean that much for desktop PC users.

Over 500 million Windows 7 licenses have been sold to date, Microsoft states, suggesting that there is a large user base to take into consideration when thinking upgrades.

Some would disagree, pointing out that people who just bought Windows 7 are less likely to upgrade to the new OS flavor, especially since Microsoft aims with it mainly at the tablet area.


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