Microsoft has released the Windows 8 Release Preview and looks very close to the finished product, Windows 8. The new test version appears to be the final stage of development of Windows 8 before being rolled out for tablet and computer manufacturers.
Windows 8 Release Preview Changes
The prerelease software or the ‘Release Candidate’, apart from keyboard shortcuts and hot-corners everywhere gets some new and interesting apps in the store.
- Apps: You will not only see addition of apps from Microsoft but from third-party partners too. For example, there is a drink-making app Cocktail Flow that gives you a wealth of information on beautiful and clever drink recipes. Other new apps in Release Preview include the Financial Times, Box, Major League Soccer, and Fruit Ninja. All of the apps are available for free in this preview version of the Windows Store. Beyond addition of some more apps and stability improvements, functionality of apps hasn’t changed much in Windows 8 Release preview.
- Other options: There are some new Family Safety features introduced and some personalization options that give users the ability to customize their start screen and work across multiple computers.
- Flash Support: Windows 8 Release Preview includes Flash support for its Metro web browser however, you don’t get full Flash capability for it and you don’t get it for all sites. Microsoft has worked with Adobe to create a subset of Flash 11.3, and only sites on an approved list will be able to use Flash. But if you want, you can get the full functionality of Flash with Desktop version of the Internet Explorer browser.
- Multi-touch gestures on touchpad: Macs have had multi-touch touch-pad drivers for a few years while Windows hasn’t progressed much in this domain. So, the company has decided to work with Synaptics and other companies on creating software drivers that add some of the Windows 8 gestures to a laptop’s trackpad. Three default gestures might come with all laptops that have touch pads: pinch-to-zoom, two-finger scroll along the X and Y axes, and edge swiping
Besides this, Microsoft claims that many internal coding changes have also been introduced.
Here’s just a list of some ‘under-the-case’ improvements to Windows 8 as mentioned by Microsoft:
- Built-In SkyDrive integration: Cloud storage will be now available as an integral part of the operating system.
- Smaller memory footprint: Windows 8 RP requires less memory to run and therefore uses memory more efficiently. This is important for systems like Ultrabooks, which often come with only 4GB of non-upgradable RAM.
- More-efficient performance: Since the pre-release version of Windows 8 uses very less memory to run and uses it efficiently, it is highly efficient in performance.
- HyperV integration: Windows 8 RP includes HyperV integration. This is important for enterprises and businesses that rely on VMs to run work apps in a world where people want to bring their own devices to work.
Windows 8 Release Preview Download
Windows 8 Release Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 7 and is available for download from here. It is available in more than 14 languages. To check the system requirements and other essentials for downloading and installing Windows 8 Release Preview, visit here.