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Windows 8 Consumer Preview launches Feb. 29

Windows 8 now has a specific launch date for the Consumer Preview version of Microsoft's next PC operating system. Today, Business Insider reports that media invites have been sent out revealing that that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, also known as the Windows 8 beta version, will be launched on Wednesday, February 29. The company is launching the beta version as part of its activities for the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, which is being held from February 27 to March 1.

The actual launch will be part of a press event for the Mobile World Congress which will be held from 3-5 pm on February 29. It's likely that Microsoft will be making some additional announcements at the event that will related to its Windows Phone business.

Microsoft previously promised that it would indeed launch the beta version of Windows 8 before the end of the month. Today's announcement means that Microsoft will make good on that launch time period but with just a few hours to spare.

The company will likely offer a Release Candidate version of Windows 8 to the public later in the year before the final, shipping, version of the OS is launched before (hopefully) the end of 2012.

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