Windows fans, rejoice! The latest preview of Windows 8 is available for your testing pleasure.
Microsoft announced on May 31 that the Windows 8 Release Preview, the company's final prerelease of the forthcoming OS, is now available for download in 14 different languages. You can get it right now by visiting this site here and following the download instructions.
The final version of Windows 8 is expected to launch this fall. According to a post on the Building Windows 8 blog, since the Windows 8 Developer Preview, rolled out last September, millions of people have begun to use the product daily on both tablets and desktops or laptops; the final release will be will work on all those devices.
In February, Microsoft made available a Consumer Preview of Windows 8. That version let users try out and get a feel for the operating system's dual-mode operating system, featuring the a traditional desktop interface and a unique tablet-friendly "Metro" view (which lends itself to multitouch input via touchscreens and features the live tile interface similar to what you'd see on Windows Phone devices).
The Release Preview rolled out on Thursday brings with it some minor updates since the February preview. New apps like Sports, Travel and News are now available, as well as updates to apps that were released with the previous preview, such as Mail, Calendar and Internet Explorer, reports Wired. The new preview's Internet Explorer app now supports Flash and its split-screen viewing has been smoothed out, among other improvements.
(Visit the Verge for a hands-on look at the Release Preview.)
According to PCMag, one thing the Windows 8 Release Preview doesn't include is an update to the OS's desktop interface, something that Microsoft has promised to include in the final version of Windows 8. CNET explains that Microsoft also plans to drop the Aero translucent glass theme currently featured in the preview with the release of the OS's final version.
Will you be downloading Microsoft's Windows 8 Release Preview? Let us know in the comments!
Flip through our gallery (below) to see some of the most exciting new features of Windows 8.
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