Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

Summary: The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is launching in Barcelona during the Mobile World Congress on February 29.

SHARE:

Microsoft is holding an event at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on February 29 to launch the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

The event will be a two-hour affair (from 3 pm to 5 pm) on Wednesday.

February 29 also happens to be the last day of February. Microsoft officials have said the Consumer Preview, aka the public beta, is slated to arrive at the end of February.

Microsoft officials said last fall that Microsoft planned to deliver a developer preview (which went out in September), a single beta (the Consumer Preview), a Release Candidate and then release Windows 8 to manufacturing.

Microsoft officials continue to decline to provide a ship target for Windows 8, though it is widely believed at this point that it will be available on new PCs and tablets starting this fall.

Microsoft's top brass also has continued to decline to say whether the x86 and ARM versions of Windows 8 will ship simultaneously. However, a member of the company's communications team said this was the plan a couple of months ago.

For those asking whether the Windows 8 Consumer Preview launch will be Webcast, there's no definitive answer at this time.  A spokesperson said when I asked: "There will be lots of online content on Microsoft News Center the week of February 29th. "

I have to say, other than the fact that the MWC show happens to fall at the end of February, this strikes me as an odd place to launch the Windows 8 public beta. MWC is a gadget show. And sure, Microsoft wants to position Windows 8 tablets as mobile consumer gadgets -- but supposedly Windows 8 is an operating system for business users, too, right?

Who knows: Maybe we'll hear Microsoft open up on the shared Windows Phone 8/Windows 8 kernel components at the Barcelona launch party? I have to say, I'm still doubtful company brass will be ready to talk about "Apollo" yet, however, because of potential chilling effects on the current Windows Phone market.

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

41 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

    Ok, much later they should not have been to fulfill the "late February" promise. Luckily we've got a leap year ;-)
    MatJa
  • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

    I'm excited about trying Win8. Here's hoping that it breaks they cycle of good release/catastrophically-crappy release.
    d20dad
    • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

      I've tried the developer's preview and unless there are drastic changes, I wouldn't pay good money for it. It may work for a touch screen computer, but for a regular desktop or laptop it is awful! Very non-intuitive and clumsy to do everyday tasks. A step backwards in my opinion. I loved Win7 the first time I tried it and bought it prerelease. Win8 will not be on my wish list.
      JoReneM
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @JoReneM <br><br>The Developer's Preview and the Consumer Preview have nothing in common, I've heard.

        Read here: winunleaked.tk/2012/02/windows-8-beta-candidate-build-8220/
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @JoReneM

        only because it doesnt work for YOU it doesn't mean its not intuitive, specially when the only thing really replaced its the old start menu, how was it better? but if you didnt have your programs pinned to start menu or MRU... it was useless with folders and folders.

        and it was a developer preview... even canouna didn't like how mouse and keyboard Works and guess what? in Consumer preview he says "The build is really pleasant, on touchscreens and with keyboard/mouse usage."

        if you dont want to buy win8 then go and keep using win7 and stop commenting no win8 articles since its "useless for you"
        Emi Cyberschreiber
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @Cylon

        The Developer and Consumer Preview have nothing in common? Are you kidding? The only difference between them is that the Consumer Preview contains features that weren't available/unlocked in the Developer Preview, but these make no dramatic difference. OK, now you can customize the look of the Start screen, there will be finally Metro-style applications available, and if the mouse/keyboard input has significantly improved remains to be seen I'd say.

        Comparing the screen shots, especially those of the Metro environment, show that not much has changed, at least visually.
        sevenacids
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @JoReneM

        I believe it will be a great experience on laptop with touch.
        thehanu
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @JoReneM, please explain how the dev preview prevented you from having the same experience. I was able to easily do anything I wanted on my existing apps, just I like I can on Windows 7.
        nelson_jan@...
  • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

    nice! I cant wait for it!
    its funny how "late february" means the last day of February in this case, but it was kinda logical they would do it on mwc, since its a big event and win8 will be available for alot of devices since its getting ARM support. and well even Windows Phone 8 that is rumored its going to have win8 kernel. so it sounds fine.

    its now about waiting for 29th or a leak that seems impossible. but Windows 8 is amazing! and CP looks amazing, so yeah, it will be my main OS like dev preview was for some months.
    Emi Cyberschreiber
  • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

    Connect the dots. Microsoft would never use an event like MWC to publish a beta of their number one product unless it was somehow related to the event. This is a 100% confirmation of the Windows Phone 8 = Windows 8 rumors that we had last week.

    I'm actually a bit disappointed that both Mary-Jo and Thurrott play dumb and just give these bits and pieces without actually providing some insight that I'd expect a blogger/journalist do.

    Same with the Office 15 and "will it be a Metro app or not" reporting. If you know anything about Microsoft as you claim to know you can easily figure it out: no it won't be Metro. Microsoft would never be able to pull that off considering the size of the products and the fact that Windows 8 was far from ready when thy had to start with Office 15.

    Use your head! That's why people are reading these blogs.
    jv_
    • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

      @jv_ - [b]"At Microsoft, there is a prevailing sense that "if you haven't shipped it to a billion users, it doesn't count." It's a remarkably limiting attitude. "[/b] erm whut?

      I am strongly of the opinion that Microsoft will primarily push Win8 as the first tablet-friendly version of Windows. As such, it's release at MWC is relevant because MWC is all about mobile computing - including tablets.

      I beleive that Microsoft will not necessarily push Win8 (client) to businesses, telling them instead that they're fine to stay on Win7 if they wish.

      Then they can take all that they learn from customers who DO adopt Win8 and feed that into the Win9 dev process which will doubtlessly include a TON of improvements to Metro, WinRT and many of the newer features introduced in Win8 making it more relevant to general business scenarios.
      Sgt. Colon
    • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

      @jv_ I am more than happy that journalists like MJ & Thurrott report facts and information AS WELL AS opinion and perspective.

      The quality of their work is in stark contrast to the almost insane rantings and horribly biased and unbalanced posts from SJVN.
      bitcrazed
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @bitcrazed Facts are always welcome. It's just that everyone can copy-paste and reformat a press release. The value comes from the contacts and insights MJ and Thurrott are supposed to have. For some reason they seem to be quite reluctant to share that with us.

        This goes a bit off topic but I was amazed by the article by Thurrott when he started like "now that the rumors are out I can confirm..." That's a classic NDA clause: you can't tell about it unless it's revealed by someone else.

        These guys shouldn't sign any NDAs but trust their channels to get leaks and insight to share without restrictions. Now it seems they sign the NDA to get the info which is then useless since they can't share it.
        jv_
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @bitcrazed

        SJVN aka Stephen Hawking lol
        mikroland2.0
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @jv_

        You made a good point here.
        sevenacids
      • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

        @bitcrazed 100% agree on your opinion of SJVN. Really, it's a black mark for ZDnet IMHO to continue letting him flame bait for clicks with his outrageously biased articles.
        goombawa
    • @jv_ You're exactly right

      @jv_ this is just more sycophantic waffle being paraded to vainly create an "air of mystique" around a platform that is being rushed (...hmmm, when can we recall something similar from 2006??)

      They play dumb to get the 'regulars' to salivate and fawn over pretty ordinary additions to already existing tech' and try trumpeting it as "revolutionary". And if they just quit farting around and called it the way they really saw it, we might actually have a blog worth taking seriously. The tabloid-like rumors and innuendo approach is the oldest, lamest and most tired approach in reporting.

      I seem to find myself reading MJF's with an expectation that i'll get some amazing revelations only to find i get hearsay, innuendo and rumor ... and i thought i was the only one in the room who saw things that way.

      Thanks for the refreshing read.
      thx-1138_
  • lame

    next M$ flop unveiling!
    The Linux Geek
    • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

      @The Linux Geek Go Troll somewhere else!! Stick to that Copy Cat OS known as Linux!
      jatbains
    • RE: Microsoft to launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview at MWC

      @The Linux Geek
      look at all the Linux distro flops... oh wait, they still are flops or everyone would be using it, yep a flop just like you- silly prick
      you-idiot