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A developer preview of Microsoft's Windows 8, designed for touch-screen tablets and PCs, is available for download, offering a first look at the operating system.
The preview of Windows 8, which is a pre-beta version of the operating system, is aimed at developers but anyone can download it, CNET says. A demo of it was shown at Microsoft's Build conference this week.
At the Build conference, Steven Sinofsky, head of Microsoft's Windows division, introduced Microsoft's new tablet running a test version of Windows 8. He didn't announce a specific timeframe for the beta version, but there are rumors it may launch at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in January, CNET says, citing WinRumors.
Developers interested in using the Windows 8 system and developing apps for it can download the toolkit available online, the Washington Post says.
Sinofsky said Windows 8 “reimagines what Windows can be."
“Things are a lot different than they were three years ago in computing,” Sinofsky said, according to the Post. “And they’re a lot, lot different than they were in, say, 1995, the last time Windows went through a pretty significant and bold overhaul.”
The Windows 8 tablet could put Microsoft into fierce competition in the tablet arena with Apple and Google, the Post says.