A third Windows 8 Release Preview became available for downloading on May 31, 2012. That same day, in a post on Microsoft’s MSDN blog, Steven Sinofsky announced that this final preview, before the Windows 8 RTM (release to manufacturing), contains the Windows 8 operating system, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive and Messenger and a selection of updated apps that are available in the Windows Store.
Regardless, Sinofsky promises in his blog post that Microsoft will continue considering testers’ feedback and working to improve Windows 8 from now until its scheduled RTM (release to manufacturing) in late July or early August.
If all goes well, Windows 8 will officially go on the market in time for the 2012 holiday season, pre-installed on the latest desktops, laptops and tablets and available for purchase on Microsoft’s website. Coinciding with the market-ready debut of Windows will be Windows RT (RT stands for run time).
According to an Apr. 16 post by Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc, “Windows RT … will only be available pre-installed on PCs and tablets powered by ARM (advanced RISC machine) processors and will help enable new thin and lightweight form factors with impressive battery life. Windows RT will include touch-optimized desktop versions of the new Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote.”
Presumably, this latest release preview has fewer glitches and missing pieces than the previous ones and will give intrepid testers a pretty good idea of what to expect from the final product.
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