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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Now Available to Download for Everyone

Microsoft has just finished giving an extensive demonstration of its new Windows 8 operating system at the Mobile World Congress. In doing so, it has also launched the Consumer Preview, which means anyone can now download Windows 8 to try it out.

The Redmond, Washington, company demonstrated how its revamped operating system can work smoothly and fluently on touchscreen tablets, laptops and desktops. The user interface will appear very different to those who have never used a Windows Phone or the new Xbox 360 dashboard before, as it is based on the Metro theme – tiles and simplicity.

The Start menu that we’ve become so used to won’t appear, but because you’re used to moving the mouse to the bottom left corner, when you do so the Start icon will then appear. Rather than desktop shortcuts you have tiles, which can represent applications, contacts and even websites. These can be re-arranged and ‘pinned’ to areas using a mouse, or multitouch gestures on a tablet or laptop touchpad.

Windows 8 has a search feature built in, so you can begin typing from the desktop to find a document or app, then select it to instantly open it. Those who watched the presentation will agree that this feature was fast and smooth.

Microsoft has incorporated one of the major tech buzz features of late, Cloud computing, heavily into Windows 8. Machines running Windows 8 – be it a tablet, laptop or desktop – are connected to the cloud from the moment you log on. This means that your personalised start menus, apps and favourite web pages can be automatically mirrored on several devices, so you can finish up on your home PC and continue from where you left off using a laptop or tablet device.

Things like Xbox games, Video and Music stores and even apps such as Cut the Rope are all a part of Windows 8. Microsoft demonstrated apps including Kindle, Cut the Rope and the Office productivity suite, as well as a store where you can rent or buy TV shows and movies.

You can download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview right now by going here. The requirements are pretty low too, so that old laptop that you thought would be useless might just get a new lease of life!

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

 

Image Credit: Engadget

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