Even though people still cling to using older versions of Windows like XP and even, in some cases, Windows 2000 or are just getting used to the idea of Windows 7, Microsoft is moving forward with the next version of its desktop OS known as Windows 8. To help get you used to the idea of a new version of Windows, the company has this week unveiled Windows 8 Release Preview.
This version of Windows 8 is a “near-final” version for users to download and try before the OS is sent to Microsoft’s manufacturing partners. The Preview includes Internet Explorer 10, support for Adobe Flash and new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive and Messenger.
“Since our first preview release last September, millions of people now use the pre-release product on a daily basis and millions more have been taking it through its paces, totaling hundreds of millions of hours of testing,” the company said on its official blog. “We genuinely appreciate the effort that so many have put into pre-release testing, and of course, we appreciate the feedback too. Direct feedback and feedback through usage contributed to hundreds of visible changes in the product and tens of thousands of under-the-hood changes.”
Nice to hear Microsoft is responding to user requests and addressing their issues. The real question, though, is if those responses and the rest of the work that went into Windows 8 actually pay off in a usable and stable new OS. I guess we’ll find out soon enough as the OS is officially released in October.