Windows 8 Beta Download: UK Release date, price & preview

Windows 8 'lite' is available for everyone to try out now

Windows 8 release date, rumours, news and all you need to know about the completely revamped upcoming OS from Microsoft

Update: Track 8 app brings Windows 8 Metro-style music player to iPad

Windows 8 Consumer Preview is essentially just a taster of Windows 8 which will be releasing later this year and gives users to try just a few of the features that will be available on Microsoft’s latest OS.

Windows 8 News:

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview has now reached 1 million downloads thanks, in part, to the large presentation that Microsoft gave to punters during MWC 2012.

Showing off more of the Metro UI Microsoft were able to give users a clearer picture of how the UI would integrate with the Windows desktop we’ve been using since Windows 95.

Late last year Microsoft also revealed the bold decision to not support Flash for its Windows 8 Tablet version.

This means that anyone using the Metro user interface will not have Flash support in the browser.

Talking in a blog post Internet Explorer development head Dean Hachamovitch explained why Flash was no longer a realistic option.

“Plug-ins were important early on in the web’s history. But the web has come a long way since then with HTML5.”

“Providing compatibility with legacy plug-in technologies would detract from, rather than improve, the consumer experience of browsing in the Metro style UI. “

What this means for the consumer is that for those using the Metro UI on Windows 8 there will be no Flash support, however Microsoft has confirmed that it will continue to support Flash on the Desktop version of Windows 8.

microsoft windows 8 beta uk download release date

Windows 8 Features:

Alongside the launch of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview was the announcement of a few new features that will be coming to the operating system.

First up is the Metro UI, already seen a fair bit on the interweb the Metro UI is Microsofts interface for Windows 8 that means the OS can be put on Tablets as well as PCs.

Featuring the same tile-based layout that we’ve already seen on Windows Phone the Metro UI favours simplicity over all else with easy access to your most used apps and programs.

he launch of the Windows Store, a dedicated store for finding apps that can be used with Windows 8 and the Metro UI, this includes some that were previewed today including a WordPress app.

There will also be seamless cloud synchronisation between devices using Windows 8, for those people with a Windows Phone handset using SkyDrive will apparently become much easier.

Of course it wouldn't be Windows without Internet Explorer, and sure enough along with the Consumer Preview is there is a platform preview of Internet Explorer 10.

Interestingly there was no mention of Windows Phone and the next release for that device, with Microsoft removing the number from its operating system it could be a sign that the OS will be progressing at its own pace rather than to match Windows 8.

windows 8 tablet demo

Windows 8 Release Date:

According to Pocket Lint and Microsoft’s Director of Windows PR Janelle Poole Windows 8 will be arriving sometime in October however there still hasn’t been any official confirmation from Microsoft.

"One of the things that I think is a good guideline though is we've always said that Windows releases come round about every three years and this year will be three years in October since we launched Windows 7. So I think that's a good guideline to consider."

Windows 8 Tablets

We know that Windows 8 will be available for both tablets and personal computers, what we don't know is how much they will cost and who will be making them, at present ther have been rumours that Windows 8 tablets could be more expensive than Android and iOS tablets.

Windows 8 tablets using Intel's Clover Trail processor could see huge price hikes with prices reaching as high as £600 if not more if Intel and Microsoft don't reconsider how much they charge vendors.

According to DigiTimes a source close to the situation has discovered that Intel are reluctant to offer the same low prices that NVIDIA and ARM are currently able to. This is apparently also true of Microsoft who are also reluctant to lower the price of their Windows 8 operating system.

While this may not affect the range of Windows 8 tablets at launch it will almost certainly result in vendors choosing competitors over Intel's Clover Trail and will still potentially keep the price high.

Of course it's important to remember that while these rumours are, as yet, unfounded, both Microsoft and Intel will be looking to carve a section of the market for themselves, especially with the likes of the upcoming iPad 3 and the rumoured Google Nexus Tablet on the way.