Times: Windows 8 consumer preview

Times: Windows 8 consumer preview

Credit: Geekwire.com

A customized Windows 8 start screen.

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by BRIER DUDLEY / The Seattle Times

NWCN.com

Posted on February 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 29 at 10:20 AM

Microsoft's grand challenge to the iPad and its great hope for relevance in the age of mobile computing arrives today, as the aging software giant unveils a near-final version of Windows 8.

At least that's the story that's been developing since Microsoft announced it would unveil the "consumer preview" of the software at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The dramatic tension is even higher now that Apple is expected to unveil the third version of the iPad next week, on March 7.

But -- after using the new software this week at home and the office -- I think it's a little early to start the drum roll. I'd wait until the final version and new hardware arrive later this year.

The new preview version - available here - is lovely, fast and fun to use, as was the preview version released to software developers last September. Its "Metro" interface -- one of the top new features -- fills the desktop with dynamic tiles that are especially suited to touchscreens and activities such as handling photos, Web browsing and using social networks.

Read more of Brier Dudley's review at The Seattle Times

Copyright: The Seattle Times

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