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Microsoft has just pulled the trigger and launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and it's ready for download and your testing now.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup will check to see if your PC can run Windows 8 Consumer Preview and select the right download. Setup also features a compatibility report and upgrade assistance. Built-in tools for creating an ISO or bootable flash drive are available for some previous versions of Windows (excluding Windows XP and earlier). You can find system requirements and additional information in the FAQ and in the links on this page.
Note before you download: Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it's commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software. If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.
Go and grab it here if you are interested.
Microsoft's timeframe for Windows 8 is not being discussed, and this worries not only the Bright Side of News*, but me, too. BSN* received some interesting news regarding the timeframe of Windows 8, with information pointing to all resources being poured into the x86-based version of the OS for notebooks, desktops, workstations and server, with no attention being given for the ARM-based version of Windows 8.
Microsoft didn't let anyone have any hands-on time with the ARM version of Windows 8 at CES 2012, and the repeat is happening now in Barcelona at the Mobile World Congress. On top of this, Qualcomm have announced they've delayed their quad-core processors from summer 2012, to Q1 2013. This could of course open the flood gates for NVIDIA and their quad-core-based Tegra 3 SoC, but it looks as though their having issues with the 28nm process and not talking about opportunities.
Thanks to some documentation on HP.com, there's now some well-placed rumors out on the Internet of the Windows 8 SKUs. ZDNet reported two documents on HP's website, pointing to the Windows 8 SKUs.
Both documents are said to be revision notes for the Alcor Micro Smart Card Reader Driver, where next to a section called "operating system(s)" the following is listed:
Microsoft Windows 8 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Enterprise 64 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 32 Edition
Microsoft Windows 8 Professional 64 Edition
They've updated their story, with HP having modified their two incriminating files and the Windows 8 SKU info now gone. Should we expect just three different SKUs for Windows 8? If it were my guess, I'd say yes. It would streamline their confusion between all the different versions, that's for sure.
Microsoft have reportedly stopped compiling beta builds of their upcoming OS, Windows 8, and are said to be preparing to sign off on the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, tomorrow. The build (8250) is said to be unveiled at a special event that will coincide with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next Wednesday at 9AM ET.
The public beta will usher in some huge changes, such as the updated Windows logo, and a new "Charms bar" which replaces the Start menu. The Consumer Preview is said to sport some preinstalled games, including Pinball and Solitaire, while the preview version of the new Windows Store will sport games such as Angry Birds.
Developers will have the ability to publish free apps through the Windows Store, or charge between $1.49 and $999 per download. Microsoft, at first, takes a 30-percent stake in the sales, which is reduced to 20-percent once the app exceeds $25,000 in sales. The OS is expected to include various social and multimedia applications. We should have a huge post on Windows 8 next week, so stay tuned!
ASUS did promise the original Eee Pad Transformer would receive Ice Cream Sandwich in February, and have now, begun to fulfil that promise. The original TF101 Transformer is now receiving the ICS update, with users in Taiwan seeing the update first.
The UK are expected to be the next ones on the list, with other regions across the various ponds to receive the ICS update over the coming days. ASUS are known to stagger releases, in case any nasty bugs pop up at the last minute, instead of unleashing the updates to the entire user base, and experiencing issues somewhere along the line.
ASUS have also used the announcement to remind us of its pride in commitment to long product life-cycles and also to look forward to some new innovations at next weeks Mobile World Congress.
Do you own an Android-powered device? A lover of Ubuntu's OS? Well, soon you could be enjoying the best of both worlds. Ubuntu now runs on multi-core Android-based devices, where your handset can allow the full desktop experience of Ubuntu, when docked with a display and keyboard.
The Ubuntu OS running is a customized version that works with Android, with the two OS's sharing data and services while running simultaneously. This means you can keep your telephony access and texts all from the Ubuntu OS, while enjoying the computing capabilities that Ubuntu offers, including Ubuntu TV, virtualization tools for running Windows applications, desktop web browsers, and Ubuntu apps built for ARM.
At the moment, it's not known which exact hardware is required to run Ubuntu on Android-based devices, but Canonical has said it works on multi-core devices with HDMI and USB connections. More details on this should be unleashed at MWC next week.
Where is the full version, Samsung? Come on. Anyway, PocketNow is reporting that this is an official version of the ROM, and while it's still a test release, it'll tie us over until the full version hits. PocketNow also discovered that the Contacts app wasn't working in this release.
Other than that, they have reported that the ROM is snappy and has improved battery life. If you're like me, a Galaxy S II owner and want to give this ICS ROM a lick to taste it, all you need to do is register on SamMobile's forums and of course, at your own risk, mess with your phone's firmware.
Alternatively, you could wait for your carrier, and/or Samsung to release an "official" ROM of ICS. But this is TweakTown, and tweaking is what we do, isn't it? Isn't that why you're reading this news right now?
The final release of ICS for the Galaxy S II shouldn't be too far away now. I think I might just wait a little while longer.
Microsoft have just updated its support policy for their two latest OSs, Windows Vista and Windows 7, where they'll now be offering extended support to the consumer versions of the two operating systems.
Until now, Microsoft had provided 5 years worth of 'mainstream support' for consumers, where business users enjoyed an additional 5 years of support. Now, all Windows users will get security updates for 10 years after the operating system's release.
This takes Windows Vista's consumer support all the way through to April 11, 2017, and Windows 7 support gets a nice bump up to January 14, 2020.
BGR have gotten their dirty mits on "what is said to be" Apple's iOS 5.1 GM, which should hit users over-the-air (OTA) around March 9th or so, and BGR have thus confirmed two changes that have been baked into iOS 5.1.
First off, we have the lock screen for iOS 5.1 sporting a fixed camera button which is found next to the slide-to-unlock button, and instead of tapping on said button to launch the camera, in iOS 5.1 all you do is drag the entire unlock section up to reveal the camera finder - nifty.
Siri has also taken a trip to learn a new language: Japanese. BGR have confirmed this in the picture below where you can clearly see Siri now sports Japanese. BGR have learnt that there "are no roadblocks" and this is a release candidate that should hit in a few weeks time.
RumorTT: Google could launch Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean" in Q2 of this year, would run alongside Windows 8
Android 4.0 arrived with quite the hard thud late last year, whilst it looks pretty cool, the Android-based smartphones and tablets just did not adapt quick enough. Most smartphone and tablet makers really dragged their feet, with even flagship products such as the phone that rocks along in my pocket, the Samsung Galaxy S II, not receiving it yet.
But, this could all [hopefully] change with the release of Android 5.0 "Jelly Bean". Google know that 2012 spells stronger competition in the OS market, with Microsoft releasing Windows 8 this year, and Apple will surely announce iOS 6 with the iPhone 5 (that's my guess, anyway). All of this is "according to Taiwan-based supply chain makers", thanks, DigiTimes.
Android 5.0 is said to be further optimized for tablet PCs, as well as having Chrome integration system functions to push dual-operating system designs. What does sound amazing, is that brand vendors can choose to adopt just Android 5.0 or add Android 5.0 to Windows 8 devices, allowing the ability to switch between the two OSes without the need to shut the device down. Take that, Apple.
Google hope to enter the notebook and netbook markets with Android 5.0, and if you can sport Windows 8 and Android 5.0 at the same time, this is going to be a kick-arse year for Google, and Microsoft.