Microsoft has delivered Windows 8 Release Preview, the company's final prerelease edition of its new operating system, including Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger and more.
Windows 8 Release Preview was made available for download May 31 in 14 languages. The Windows 8 Release Preview delivers a fast and fluid experience, along with a new user interface that responds equally well to touch as it does to keyboard and mouse, Microsoft said.
Microsoft delivered a Developer Preview of Windows 8 at its BUILD conference in September 2011. And since the February release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which was downloaded more than a million times in the first 24 hours, Windows 8 has become the most tested Microsoft operating system of all time, and with the May 31 release, it enters its final phase of development before its release to manufacturing (RTM).
In the next month, Microsoft will further detail the value Windows 8 brings to businesses at TechEd North America. The new OS is expected to RTM this summer and ship in October 2012.
The Windows 8 Release Preview also features improvements to the Mail, Photos and People apps that initially debuted with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In addition, Microsoft has worked closely with its partners to deliver apps from around the world through the Windows Store.
Beyond the new apps from Microsoft and partners, customers testing the Windows 8 Release Preview will also experience tens of thousands of refinements across the product, such as increased personalization options for the start screen, improved multi-monitor support, refinements to the way people find and download apps through the Windows Store, and new Family Safety features. The new Internet Explorer 10 redefines browsing, particularly for touch-enabled devices. The Web is as fast and fluid as any app, and with new capabilities in the Windows 8 Release Preview such as "flip ahead," it is just as intuitive, Microsoft said in a press release.
In addition, a touch-friendly and power-optimized Adobe Flash Player is now integrated into Internet Explorer 10, and it also features Do Not Track "on" by default, giving users more choice and control over their privacy.
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