It looks like we're going to get what everyone's been waiting to get their hands on earlier than expected. A badly timed blog post (now deleted) today on the Windows Hardware and Driver Developer Blog pinned the release date of the next preview of Windows for May 31st.
The post was written by Chuck Chan, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Development team on a new blog called the "Windows Hardware and Driver Developer Blog" this morning. He says that the "Release Preview" has been "made available today" and then signs the date and his name at the end of the post as "Chuck Chan, May 31st."
If you're looking for conclusive evidence that Windows 8 will be in everyone's hands tomorrow, this is it. The blog post was removed just two minutes after it was published and the blog remains empty for now. Whilst the links provided in the post currently point to the Consumer Preview, they will update tomorrow when Microsoft makes the actual announcement. You can read the full text of the post before it was yanked below.
Windows 8 Release Preview: Download here (not active until May 31st)
Windows 8 Driver Kit: Download here (not active until May 31st)
Visual Studio 2012 Professional: Download here (not active until May 31st)
Update: Our internal sources have confirmed that the blog post is accurate, and that the links will become live tomorrow for the public to download the updated files. There is no announcement planned other than posts on the various Microsoft blogs. The full text of the blog post is available on the next page, and some leaked screenshots are available here.
Welcome to the Windows 8 Hardware blog! I’m Chuck Chan,
Corporate Vice President on the Windows Development team. We’re very excited to
make available today the Windows 8 Release Preview on the Windows Dev Center. Windows 8 represents a leap forward for the Windows platform, the
development tool set, and the device experiences you can build for Windows.
We’re launching this blog to give you some insight into how we designed and
built Windows 8, and to explore the best practices for developing great
hardware and drivers, as you enter the new world of Windows 8 development.
The people contributing to this blog are the engineers
building Windows 8 and the tools and kits that support it. Our goal is to help
you get started by focusing on the “why” and “how” of building amazing PCs and
device experiences for Windows 8. Each blog post will present a development
topic and tie together information from the Dev Center, Forums, MSDN Library, and where it makes sense, samples from the Windows Hardware Code Gallery.
We designed the Windows 8 platform and tools to help you
create high-quality drivers and Metro style device apps using an integrated,
modern tool set. Using the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) and Visual Studio, you can
write, build, sign package, deploy, test, and debug your drivers and apps
directly from Visual Studio. With the new Windows Hardware Certification Kit,
you can ensure the compatibility and reliability of your devices, and provide a
great overall user experience.
To get started, download and install Windows 8 Release Preview, the Windows Driver Kit 8, and Visual Studio Professional 2012. The Windows 8 SDK is also included with Visual Studio. As you begin using Windows 8, you’ll
notice that we’ve added new features and improved existing ones. In addition to
providing a modern tool set, we’ve also been hard at work improving power
management and refining the way you provide a great user experience for devices
with Metro style device apps. We’ll share more
details in future posts.
The Windows Development team will post to this blog once
every one to two weeks until the release of Windows 8. Commenting is
encouraged, and we are looking forward to a lively conversation. Please apply
common courtesy and stay on topic with your comments. The Windows Hardware Community Forum is also a great place for hardware-related questions and discussion about
We can’t wait to see the amazing devices and experiences
you’re building for Windows 8 come to life!
Chuck Chan, May 31 2012