Windows 8 leaps into the future with Feb 29 Consumer Preview launch

By Kip Kniskern | Posted February 8, 2012 7 comments

previewMicrosoft has sent out invitations today to a special leap year day Consumer Preview Launch in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, and since we’ve been promised a “late February” availability for the not-a-beta, we’re assuming we’ll be able to download the bits on February 29, 2012.

Developers and others were able to preview Windows 8 in a bare bones Developer Preview available at Build last November, and it sounds like some of the more anticipated features of Windows 8 (including a new version of Windows Media Center) still won’t be supplied with this Consumer Preview.

We should get our first look at the pre-bundled Metro style apps that appear to be a replacement for Windows Live Essentials, however.  Tom Warren at the Verge listed a number of apps (with possibly more to come with the CP) thought to be bundled with the Consumer Preview:

  • Camera
  • Messaging
  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • SkyDrive
  • People
  • Photos
  • Video
  • Music

Tom also details some more information about the apps, and adds further fuel to the “Zune is dead” fire:

These applications, and possibly more, will come preinstalled for the Consumer Preview release, and will be updatable from the Windows Store. Mail, Calendar, People, and Messaging are designed to be core Windows communications apps and are not branded with Windows Live. One source has revealed that Microsoft is working to enable SMS support for the Messaging app which operates as a Windows Live Messenger equivalent in its current form. The Music and Video applications are currently branded with Zune, but are built by the Xbox team. We are hearing that this branding will be removed shortly before the Windows 8 release, moving to Xbox Live for Windows as the entertainment brand for Windows 8 Music, Video and Games.

Of course for Windows Live fans, there are still lots of unanswered questions.  What happens to Live Mesh and Writer?  What about continued Windows Live Essentials development for Windows 7?  How will Windows Live Messenger and Skype evolve?  At least, barring the usual snafus, we won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

Posted February 8th, 2012 at 10:41 am
Category: News
Tags: Windows 8
  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    I really hope that Mesh is built in to Windows 8, and that Mesh 2011 is publisised more for Windows 7. It’s really as good as Dropbox (with more online storage, actually), it’s just people don’t know about it.

    I hope (although this is unlikely to happen) that there will be Windows Live Essentials 2012/13, for Windows 7 and the Windows 8 desktop version. There will be a lot of Windows 7 users around for a long time, and PC users with a mouse and keyboard (that’s a lot of people) in Windows 8 won’t always want to use the Metro apps. Hotmail features in Live Mail would be great, Mesh could do with SkyDrive.com (not SkyDrive synced storage) integration, Movie Maker seriously needs more features and Family Safety could do with some new features. I know that an update to desktop Live Essentials is unlikely (esp. with the death of Windows Live, and the key services being rebranded Microsoft Live, Microsoft SkyDrive etc.), but it would be nice.

    It also wouldn’t hurt Microsoft to improve Live Profile. I thought it had a lot of potential, being able to connect your services, but it’s not been updated in ages.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think your hope is so unlikely.

      Given that support for Windows XP was only dropped in WLE 2011/Wave 4, I find it difficult to imagine that Wave 5 will drop support for NT6.0/6.1. It’s difficult to predict how successful Windows 8 will be (Windows 7 is barely different from Windows Vista yet the former is considered a success and the latter a failure), no matter how high the take-up rate is, the potential audience for Metro-style applications will be quite small for years to come.

      I’m hoping for simplified immersive applications suitable for tablet use while the full-featured desktop clients remain (and continue to be improved). Microsoft is of course pushing Metro-style apps hard right now, but the environment simply isn’t suitable for all classes of programs.

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    I really hope that Mesh is built in to Windows 8, and that Mesh 2011 is publisised more for Windows 7. It’s really as good as Dropbox (with more online storage, actually), it’s just people don’t know about it.

    I hope (although this is unlikely to happen) that there will be Windows Live Essentials 2012/13, for Windows 7 and the Windows 8 desktop version. There will be a lot of Windows 7 users around for a long time, and PC users with a mouse and keyboard (that’s a lot of people) in Windows 8 won’t always want to use the Metro apps. Hotmail features in Live Mail would be great, Mesh could do with SkyDrive.com (not SkyDrive synced storage) integration, Movie Maker seriously needs more features and Family Safety could do with some new features. I know that an update to desktop Live Essentials is unlikely (esp. with the death of Windows Live, and the key services being rebranded Microsoft Live, Microsoft SkyDrive etc.), but it would be nice.

    It also wouldn’t hurt Microsoft to improve Live Profile. I thought it had a lot of potential, being able to connect your services, but it’s not been updated in ages.

    • quppa

      I don’t think your hope is so unlikely.

      Given that support for Windows XP was only dropped in WLE 2011/Wave 4, I find it difficult to imagine that Wave 5 will drop support for NT6.0/6.1. While it’s difficult to predict how successful Windows 8 will be (Windows 7 is barely different from Windows Vista yet the former is considered a success and the latter a failure), no matter how high the take-up rate is, the potential audience for Metro-style applications will be quite small for years to come.

      I’m hoping for simplified immersive applications suitable for tablet use while the full-featured desktop clients remain (and continue to be improved). Microsoft is of course pushing Metro-style apps hard right now, but the environment simply isn’t suitable for all classes of programs.

  • http://www.mosaictec.com Mosaic Technology

    Windows 8 could mean tremendous things for Microsoft,
    ushering in a whole new era for the company. It’s great to see this product
    finally starting to unveil to the public at large. Mobile World Congress will
    be a great platform for Microsoft to wow customers.

     

    Sarah

    Mosaic Technology

    http://www.mosaictec.com

  • Steven
  • Steven