Microsoft introduced a new blog and Twitter account to keep partners and customers better updated with the development and progress of its next operating system. Windows President Steven Sinofsky made the first post on the "Building Windows 8" blog today, sharing some new information about Windows 8 and outlining the purpose of these new outlets to end-users, developers and information professionals.

In the post, Sinofsky briefly mentions that a pre-release version will be available "over the coming months", likely to developers only. If the process used to roll out Windows 7 is any indication, Microsoft could also provide a Windows 8 Release Candidate to end-users before the public launch.

The blog welcomes comments and constructive criticism both from visitors and the Windows 8 staff. End-users are encouraged to email questions and blog topics for consideration.

"Our intent with this pre-release blog is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about, before we talk about it. Our top priority is the responsibility we feel to our customers and partners, to make sure we're not stressing priorities, churning resource allocations, or causing strategic confusion among the tens of thousands of you who care deeply and have much invested in the evolution of Windows. Rather than generating traffic or building excitement, this blog is here to provide a two-way dialog about the complexities and tradeoffs of product development."

Windows 8 builds have been leaked online for a few months now. Windows 8 build 7850, the first leaked Windows 8 build, hit the Internet in April 2011. It was quickly followed by Windows 8 build 7955 a few weeks later. Windows Server 8 build 7959 then leaked in May 2011.

Microsoft announced in January that Windows 8 will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures from ARM-based systems designed by partners Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Microsoft's goal is of course to further increase the range of hardware it supports with Windows.

In June, Microsoft released some information about Windows 8's UI and posted a preview video on YouTube. The next major event for Windows is the BUILD conference in September where more information will be provided to develpers.