Windows 8 Consumer Preview nearly done, Office 15 screenshots leak

By on February 23, 2012, 3:30 PM

On track with its previously shared schedule, Microsoft has reportedly stopped compiling beta builds and is preparing to sign off on the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 tomorrow. The build (8250) will be unveiled during a special event coinciding with Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next Wednesday at 9AM ET. The public beta will feature many controversial changes announced in recent months, including the updated Windows logo and a new "Charms bar" in favor of the tried and true Start menu.

Windows 8 Build 8220 (via PCBeta)

Several games will come preinstalled on the Consumer Preview, including Pinball and Solitaire, while a preview version of the Windows Store will offer titles such as Angry Birds. Developers will be able to publish free apps through the Windows Store, or charge between $1.49 and $999 per download (Microsoft initially takes a 30% slice, which is reduced to 20% after an app exceeds $25,000 in sales). The beta operating system will also be bundled with various social and multimedia applications.

Along with an update on Windows 8, screenshots of Office 15's Technical Preview have leaked courtesy of a tipster working with The Verge. Although the interface hasn't received a drastic overhaul, Microsoft is clearly trying to clean things up by tweaking default options, such as minimizing the oft-criticized Ribbon menu. The suite also uses a fullscreen "backstage" menu similar to Office 2010's. Outlook 15 has the most visible interface tweaks with a Metro-style navigation at the bottom of the program.

Outlook 15 Technical Preview

As we've said before, considering Microsoft's emphasis on cross-platform integration and mobile-friendly interfaces, Metro is bound to crop up in the company's latest productivity suite. The Technical Preview is offered to select customers under a non-disclosure agreement, so details are still limited. Office 15 (likely to be marketed as "Office 2013") is expected to hit public beta sometime this summer with a final launch rumored to be scheduled alongside Windows 8 in October or November.

User Comments: 14

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Guest said:

mmm that charm bar could be nice, especially if you can mod it easily and add different gadgets on it (a bit like rainmeter allows you to).

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I look forward to giving this a whirl.

Guest said:

I've been using the Dev Preview as my main OS at home since Sept. No complaints. Only hope that the CP is as stable.

Guest said:

Hi, I looking forward installing this win as a Main OS, I have been using Dev Preview for 1-2 months, than I don't remeber why I changed to win 7, but I really missed the fast boot, I am hping that in Consumer Preview it will be faster, I want ask, I accidently uninstalled the weather, and now I cannot install it, because of the Microsoft Store, some ideas....?

Guest said:

Seems like MS is designing everything to the lowest common denominator, the phone/pad/tablet and not the laptop, desktop. So far, I don't really like the look and feel but I'll give it a fair test once I can run the CP.

Guest said:

When is this gonna be released?

Guest said:

late februrary, aka 29th ;) on the .... in Barcelona

Guest said:

They must take the code from rendering engine of Age Of Empires III and put them in aw update to Dreamscene :)

Guest said:

correction "water rendering engine"

Guest said:

you have to reset your computer. No files will be deleted but you may have to reinstall some programs. Or if you just unpinned it hit windows button+Q and search for it. if it is there right click and hit pin to start.

Guest said:

From What I have seen, windows 8 seems like a major improvement over windows 7, however a little more advanced features should be easily accessible, futhermore music features should be updated to should a 10 Band graphical equalizer

Guest said:

I am so happy with my android tablet, so I never must uninstall INTERNET explorer again ;)

Guest said:

windows 8 looks retarded to me and the whole panel concept seems like MS trying to play catch up with apple. The whole world is going to apps and windows is following suit. I am tired of paying a fortune for my OS and that is why I switched to mac a couple years ago

Guest said:

Actually MS will be jumping ahead of Apple with Windows 8. Tell me something, can the default Mac OS be installed on a Desktop/Laptop/Tablet and be suitable for all 3..? No it cant!

A fortune for Windows you say, how is $100-$200 a fortune? If you wanted something free and better than Mac, download and install Linux. Your probably paying more for the Mac OS than what it costs for Windows when you buy a Mac computer as its way overpriced for what you get

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