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Mar 01, 2012 at 03:48pm IST

Microsoft Windows 8 consumer preview available for download

New Delhi: Microsoft Corp. has now announced the availability of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which is available for download at http://preview.windows.com , thereby giving the public the first chance to try out the slick, new-look operating system.

Windows 8, as the first Microsoft operating system compatible with low-power microprocessors designed by ARM Holdings Plc, will run on tablets as well as desktops and laptops.

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The Product Windows 8 is said to be coming in two main flavors - one that works on the traditional x86 chips made by Intel Corp for desktops and laptops, and a new version for the ARM microprocessors that have become the standard for tablets, smartphones and other portable devices. In both versions, Windows 8 features a completely new interface, borrowed from what Microsoft calls the 'Metro' style of the current Windows Phone software.

Windows 8 consumer preview available for download

Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live attends the Windows 8 Consumer Preview presentation during a press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. (Associated Press)

The new operating system lets you see your apps and content in a glance on the start screen. The new Metro interface is subdivided into blocks or "Live Tiles," as Microsoft calls. These touch interactive tiles display immediate data - email services, social networking sites, IM apps and other information sources.

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The Metro Internet explorer 10 browser brings a start screen for quick access to the websites frequently used by the user. Besides, the touch browsing is claimed to be fast, fluid and intuitive.

"With Windows 8, we reimagined the different ways people interact with their PC and how to make everything feel like a natural extension of the device, whether using a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or all-in-one," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft.

At a Windows 8 consumer preview event in Barcelona, the company shared some key new updates. Since the developer preview in September, designed to preview the programming platform, Windows 8 it touted to progress across every dimension.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview will be available worldwide for download in English, French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese languages.

With additional inputs from Reuters