Windows 8 Preview release date is first week of June

In preparation for September full release

Microsoft has lifted the lid on its latest plans for Windows 8. There'll be three versions, two for Intel-based machines and one for the first Windows on ARM devices.

Microsoft has revealed that the Windows 8 Preview will officially be available in the first week of June in preparation for a possible September full release.

The annoucement was made at the Japan Developer Days for Windows 8 and was then posted via Twitter along with an image of the conference.

This comes a few weeks after it was revealed that Microsoft's next operating system will officially go by the Windows 8 moniker, and the software giant has also revealed it'll come in three different flavours.

For Intel-based x86/x64 computers there'll be Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro. For those machines based on the ARM chip architecture, the operating system will be called Windows 8 RT (Runtime)

On Intel-based PCs, Windows 8 will be the SKU that ships with consumer machines while Pro will bring added features like encryption, virtualization, PC management, and domain connectivity. Windows Media Center will be available as an add on to Pro. Microsoft says these features are aimed at enthusiasts.

The Windows 8 RT edition will be for Windows on ARM (WOA) machines only, and will be primarily aimed at tablets. The operating system will include touch-enabled versions of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

The announcement of three versions of Windows 8 offers a simplified approach compared to Windows 7, even with the differing chipsets to consider. Windows 7 saw the launch of Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate.

Microsoft is yet to announce an official release date for its re-imagining of Windows, although we expect to see the first machines become available as we enter the fourth quarter of 2012