Windows 8 public beta reportedly due in February

Development of Windows 8 is proceeding nicely by all accounts. In the last two days alone, two interesting updates about the new operating system have emerged – details from Microsoft on how the OS will handle larger data storage devices; and the latest on the Protogon file system, which has now been updated and renamed ReFS.

At its BUILD conference earlier this year, Microsoft released a preview version of Windows 8 to software developers and the public, but the wider availability of a pre-release and more feature complete version of the OS has remained something of a mystery, with Microsoft remaining frustratingly tight-lipped on the subject.

However, sources close to the company have now revealed to The Next Web that a public beta of Windows 8 will be made available at the end of February. 

Mobile World Congress kicks off right at the end of February, and it’s unlikely that Microsoft would release the Windows 8 beta there; Windows Phone will surely be the primary focus of the company’s MWC efforts. It’s more likely, therefore, that we’ll see the beta released at least a week earlier, perhaps around February 20 but this is pure speculation at this point if the rumor about a February date holds true. 

The exact feature set of the beta has not yet been finalized, but given that it will be a public release, it’s likely to be reasonably complete.

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Stoffel said,
Same here, I've been using it as my main OS since a couple of days.No problems so far, the only funny thing i run into is the lag when typing in a facebook chat window. It keeps skipping letters when you type fast. It mainly does this when i use the desktop version of IE10, in the metro version it barely happens

Yep, that bug is super annoying.

andrewbares said,

Yep, that bug is super annoying.

thats the only reason i dont use the developer preview.. .. anybody here know how to fix it? i thought it was just my keyboard drivers messing it.

andrewbares said,

Yep, that bug is super annoying.

Is it for you also way less in the Metro browser compared to the Desktop browser?

Wow, that's great. Although, making Betas of operating systems available to the public in general to me is not a good idea. I understand Microsoft's reasoning that they want as many as possible to test it to find any glitches and app incompatibilities, but many who will download and use it will whine and gripe about problems and not really give any useful feedback. Hopefully the beta will be made available earlier to MSDN and Technet subscribers also.

devHead said,
Wow, that's great. Although, making Betas of operating systems available to the public in general to me is not a good idea. I understand Microsoft's reasoning that they want as many as possible to test it to find any glitches and app incompatibilities, but many who will download and use it will whine and gripe about problems and not really give any useful feedback. Hopefully the beta will be made available earlier to MSDN and Technet subscribers also.

Whining and griping is feedback.

DukeEsquire said,

Whining and griping is feedback.

Perhaps it is feedback in the literal sense, but I used the term useful feedback. Whining and griping is rarely useful and actionable.

DukeEsquire said,

Whining and griping is feedback.

It can also be a huge waste of time. There was an enormous amount of whining and griping about the developer preview, despite the indisputable fact that it was pre-beta code, intended for little more than offering a platform for developers to familiarize themselves with. Despite Microsoft never intending it to showcase the actual consumer features of the OS, self-important bloggers immediately set about nitpicking every single tiny thing they didn't like or felt was missing. I suppose the idiocy was foreshadowed when it was first shown off and the nuts from AllthingsD had a seizure over the demo lacking a metro version of Office--a suite developed separately from and by a completely different team as Windows.

So while the kind of feedback that would qualify as 'useful' would be given with a modicum of maturity, the actual whining and griping that you call feedback is more often than not childish and ignorant, hurled around by people who refuse to process the fact that the biggest part of development is debugging.

Joshie said,

It can also be a huge waste of time. There was an enormous amount of whining and griping about the developer preview, despite the indisputable fact that it was pre-beta code, intended for little more than offering a platform for developers to familiarize themselves with. Despite Microsoft never intending it to showcase the actual consumer features of the OS, self-important bloggers immediately set about nitpicking every single tiny thing they didn't like or felt was missing. I suppose the idiocy was foreshadowed when it was first shown off and the nuts from AllthingsD had a seizure over the demo lacking a metro version of Office--a suite developed separately from and by a completely different team as Windows.

So while the kind of feedback that would qualify as 'useful' would be given with a modicum of maturity, the actual whining and griping that you call feedback is more often than not childish and ignorant, hurled around by people who refuse to process the fact that the biggest part of development is debugging.

Well said!

Joshie said,

It can also be a huge waste of time. There was an enormous amount of whining and griping about the developer preview, despite the indisputable fact that it was pre-beta code, intended for little more than offering a platform for developers to familiarize themselves with. Despite Microsoft never intending it to showcase the actual consumer features of the OS, self-important bloggers immediately set about nitpicking every single tiny thing they didn't like or felt was missing. I suppose the idiocy was foreshadowed when it was first shown off and the nuts from AllthingsD had a seizure over the demo lacking a metro version of Office--a suite developed separately from and by a completely different team as Windows.

So while the kind of feedback that would qualify as 'useful' would be given with a modicum of maturity, the actual whining and griping that you call feedback is more often than not childish and ignorant, hurled around by people who refuse to process the fact that the biggest part of development is debugging.


Ninety percent of the whine (sans cheese) that was served up over the Developer Preview was over the lack of a feature (that Microsoft made quite plain would be missing from the Developer Preview) - the Start menu. I found the DP at least as stable as 7 x64 SP1 (my normal main OS); in some cases, it lacks bugs and quirks still present in Windows 7. I ran the DP side by side with 7, Immersive/Metro and all, and this is a traditional desktop with a non-touch flat-panel display.

I would be tempted to try it were it not for that bug - it sounds very annoying!

I used win7 beta from day one & it was great

brianshapiro said,
I hope (but am doubtful) that I'll be able to upgrade from the Developer Preview instead of doing a clean install.

If it's one thing people should learn when installing Pre-RTM stuff is that when it comes to new builds you should always do a clean install. Afterall, the whole purpose of having development previews, betas, RC's etc is to test a product to make it stable. If you upgrade from one build to another, you can introduce unique problems and cause false reports that can hurt the development. I know it's an inconvience but people shouldn't complain and if they think otherwise then they shouldn't be running any development build.

Two major annoyances in Windows Explorer needs to be fixed: auto sorting and status bar not showing free disk space and total size of files without selecting them.

I installed Windows 8 DP using Boot Camp on my MBP but it now only boots to a black screen. Anyone else experienced this? I think it might of been a recent Windows Updates.

What is going to be in it for the notebook and desktop users? All the ballyhoo has been for the "touchy-feely" tablet users---hardly a majority of the users of Windows.

TsarNikky said,
What is going to be in it for the notebook and desktop users? All the ballyhoo has been for the "touchy-feely" tablet users---hardly a majority of the users of Windows.

You can certainly use Metro/Immersive on non-touch hardware (netbooks, notebooks, laptops, and even traditional desktops) - I've been running the DP on a traditional desktop, complete with Immersive/Metro. The problem is not Immersive/Metro per se - it's that folks are so used to the Start menu being there - after all, it's been there since Windows 9x/NT4. On the one hand, they want the legacy stuff to go away - however, when they get the price for it, it's a major case of Buyer's Remorse.

The other issue is that, even without Metro/Immersive (if you use a registry edit or other hack to bring back the Start menu), it's still a bigger change for users than Windows Vista - which was avoided in droves. Never mind that Office 2010 x64 - the productivity acid-test application suite - runs just fine in DP with Immersive/Metro. All too many users want to wear those *comforable sneaks* - meaning they want the Start menu.

PGHammer said,

On the one hand, they want the legacy stuff to go away.

I sure don't want most of it going away. I'm an old dog, I don't mind learning new tricks if I find them useful and productive, unfortunately I don't find many of the new tricks all that useful. /2cents

I've run DP build and similar time frame build of server, under the hood I'm very impressed, above the hood (gui) more or less disgusted, I thought the same of win7 changes though so about par for the course as far as i'm concerned, so long as I turn off all the crap I'll be happy. Hopefully they'll decide by beta time frame to keep that metrofied stuff off by default on desktops; don't get me wrong it's got it's place, but that place is not on my business desktop if they think otherwise they are in for a rude awakening.

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