At a non-webcast press event at MWC in Barcelona today, Steven Sinofsky and Julie Larson-Greene took the stage to unveil the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The new operating system, with its Metro style interface and “fast and fluid” design, is available for download, as is the beta of Visual Studio 11 and the .Net Framework 4.5. Here’s a set of links:
- Windows 8 download direct link
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview web page
- Visual Studio 11 beta downloads (multiple installers)
- “Welcome to Windows 8 Consumer Preview” blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog
- “System recommendations” blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog
- Jason Zander’s Visual Studio “welcome to the beta” blog post
Ironically, we’re spending the week on Microsoft’s campus and here in Bellevue in a hotel for the Microsoft MVP Summit, so downloading the 3.3gb Consumer Preview is a bit out of the question over hotel wi-fi, but we’ll have it up and running soon enough.
We understand that a number of apps, including the Mail, Photos, Calendar and Messaging apps that are the Metro style successors to Windows Live Essentials apps are included in the Preview, so we’ll be getting our first look at the future of Microsoft’s live consumer services.
Of course we’ll have a lot more to say about Windows 8 in the coming days, but for now go and get the Preview and let us know what you think!