Software giant Microsoft Corporation has launched the Windows 8 Release Preview one day before its scheduled date of 01 June. The Release Preview is the third and final in Microsoft’s trio of Windows 8 pre-releases. This is the last major update of Windows 8 before the client code is released to manufacturers.

Features of Windows 8 Release Preview

According to Microsoft, the Windows 8 Release Preview, which is available for download in 14 languages, delivers a fast and fluid experience, along with a new user interface that responds equally well to touch as it does to keyboard and mouse.

Windows 8 Release Preview offers new apps from Microsoft and its partners. The major apps include Bing Travel, News and Sports apps, as well as Gaming and Music XBOX apps that integrate with Microsoft Zune pass. The Windows 8 Release Preview also features improvements to the Mail, Photos and People apps that were released with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

How different is Windows 8 from previous versions of Windows OS

It is not just the Metro Interface and the Microsoft store that have garnered considerable interest, but other aspects of Windows 8 too may be important to users who are considering upgrading. Here is a brief detail of back-end improvements to Windows 8:

Smaller memory footprint: Windows 8 uses memory more efficiently and requires less memory to run. This is important for systems like Ultrabooks, which often come with 4GB of non-upgradable RAM.
More-efficient performance: Windows 8 and its underlying sub-systems consume less of the CPU’s resources than previous Windows OS do.
Reduced disk-space requirement: As solid-state drives become increasingly common, disk space for user files will be at a premium.
Built-in SkyDrive integration: Cloud storage is now an integral part of the operating system.

What Next?

The next stop after Windows 8 Release Preview will be Release to Manufacturing (RTM), and after that, the retail release. If we consider the scheduling of Windows 7 as a benchmark, it is expected that the RTM sign-off may occur around August and retail availability around October.

News source: Microsoft