Microsoft is working hard on Windows 8 and the multiple leaks show that the OS is progressing rapidly. If one source is to be believed, Windows 8 is now also on Microsoft Connect, in a tightly closed beta for OEM suppliers.
The information comes from bbs.ruanmei.com that states Windows 8 build 7971 showed up on Microsoft Connect in a tightly closed beta. Currently you must have an invitation key that is only good for either one use or one user to download the operating system. The program is being called "Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release".
The user believes that if it is showing up for his company that it should also start showing up for other OEM distributors which could lead to a leak in the near future. At this time there is only one source for this information and until we can verify two independent entities have access to this program, the information should be taken with a bit of caution.
Windows 8 is expected to land at some point during 2012, with retail availability in January of 2013 according to recent rumors. It is also suggested that a beta may land as early as this Fall.