Windows 8 is the next version of Microsoft Windows, a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft for use onpersonal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, netbooks, tablet PCs, servers, and media center PCs. It adds support for ARM microprocessors in addition to the traditional x86 microprocessors from Intel and AMD. Its user interface has been changed to make it better suited for touchscreen input in addition to the traditional mouse, keyboard, and pen input.
Microsoft has not yet announced a ship date for Windows 8, although some major media outlets speculate it might be available in late 2012
In January 2011, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would be adding support for ARM microprocessors in addition to the traditional x86 microprocessors from Intel and AMD.
A 32-bit Milestone 1 build, build 7850, with a build date of September 22, 2010, was leaked to BetaArchive, an online beta community, which was soon leaked to P2P/torrent sharing networks on April 12, 2011. Milestone 1 includes a ribbon interface for Windows Explorer, a PDF reader called Modern Reader, an updated task manager called Modern Task Manager, and native ISO image mounting.
A 32-bit Milestone 2 build, build 7927, was leaked to The Pirate Bay on August 29, 2011 right after many pictures leaked on BetaArchive the day before.Features of this build are mostly the same as build 7955.
A 32-bit Milestone 2 build, build 7955, was leaked to BetaArchive on April 25, 2011.Features of this build were a new pattern login and more.
A 64-bit Milestone 3 build, build 7959, was leaked to BetaArchive on May 1, 2011.This build is notable for being the first publicly leaked Windows Server 8 build, as well as the first leaked 64-bit build.
A Milestone 3 build, build 7971, was released to close partners of Microsoft on March 29, 2011 but was kept under heavy security. However, a few screenshots were leaked. The “Windows 7 Basic” theme now uses similar metrics to the Aero style, but maintains its non-hardware accelerated design, and also supports taskbar thumbnails. The boxes that encase the “close, maximize, and minimize” buttons have been removed, leaving just the signs.
A 64-bit Milestone 3 build, build 7989, leaked to BetaArchive on June 18, 2011 after screenshots were revealed the previous day. An SMS feature, a new virtual keyboard, a new bootscreen, transparency in the basic theme, geo-location services, Hyper-V 3.0, and PowerShell 3.0 were revealed in this build.
Other new features found in leaked builds include a new Welcome screen, a new packaged application model called AppX that is based on Silverlight and Open Packaging Conventions, as well as a setting to automatically adjust window color to fit the wallpaper. There is also a stripped down “Immersive” version of Internet Explorer, similar to the mobile version of Internet Explorer, but using the desktop Trident rendering engineand a new “Hybrid Boot” option that uses “advanced hibernation functionality” on shutdown to allow faster startup times. Another is the ability to create a Portable Workspace: an installation of Windows 8 on a USB storage device.
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