Earlier this month, Microsoft announced they would be releasing Windows 8 Consumer Preview at the end of February, and they have done so yesterday with an official announcement at Mobile World Congress 2012, in Barcelona, Spain.
During the event, they showcased ARM tablets based on Nvidia Tegra 3, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 and Texas Instruments OMAP 4/5, as well as tablets, ultrabooks, laptops and touch PCs based on Intel meldfield and clove trail. All those devices are reference platform for developers and not actual products although Microsoft expect manufacturers to use those reference designs to build their products.
The Touch PC used a an interesting screen which could be positioned vertically (like a normal screen). horizontally (like a surface PC) and at an angle for use cases such as an architecture reading a plan or an artist drawing a painting.
They also showcased a very large touchscreen that could be used by up to 10 people.
Microsoft confirmed that ARM and x86 devices would have the same features set and that both platform at the same stage of development.
During the other part of the presentation they showcased the Metro UI, Windows 8 desktop and instant on capabilities.
You can watch the highlights of the Windows 8 event at MWC 2012 in the video below (Source: Charbas’x Youtube Channel).
Looking at a presentation is all nice, but it’s better to try it yourself. You can download Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Make sure your select the ISO download and not the default web download), and follow the instructions to install Windows 8 in VirtualBox. This preview is only available for Intel/AMD x86 computers.
You can also reading Windows Team Blog’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview blog post for further details.