Microsoft released a developer-preview of Windows 8 yesterday at its BUILD Conference. This is a pre-beta version aimed at developers and will not be available to the public (of course Bittorrent redefines “the public” just a little).
Windows 8 is developed with the Touch First approach – an overlay of the Metro UI from the Windows Phone 7. That said there is still the “normal” Windows UI underneath and to be used if you are not using a Touch device.
Some features shown at the conference on Tuesday were how to develop for Windows 8 (no surprises here: HTML 5), restart of Windows in 5 seconds (not as fast as my iPad but much faster than my SSD powered Notebook today) and Windows 8 running on ARM powered devices (with just the little tiny issue of NO backwards compatibility of ANY existing Windows application – my only question is: Why Microsoft? If I didn’t want compatibility with my business applications I buy an iPad – it looks better).
It seems that Windows 8 will be a very interesting release and the reviews so far have been very positive – a public beta should be out by the end of the year.