For anyone who might be interested Microsoft today released the Window 8 Release Preview. As far as I can work out this release is akin to the what Microsoft used to refer as the Release Candidate 1 or RC1.
Microsoft releases used to go something like Beta 1 then Beta 2 (if needed) followed by Release Candidate 1 and possibly a Release Candidate 2 (if needed), then finally the RTM (Release to Manufacturing or ‘Gold’ release, which was the final). Following this sequence I am thinking that this Windows 8 Release Preview is aligned with what Microsoft used to refer to as Release Candidate 1.
Anyway! Whatever. On the Microsoft site today you can download the Windows 8 Release Preview.
If, like me, you tried out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (which was basically the Beta release) then you can go here and get down the Consumer Preview updater. Alternatively you can go here and get the 3GB ISO version.
For a comprehensive rundown of what has changed between the Consumer Preview and this Release Preview you can check out Paul Thurrott’s “Windows 8 Release Preview: The Ultimate Delta Guide” at the Supersite for Windows (here).
Because Windows 8 has the new Metro ‘touch-first’ touch screen interface and will work on tablets as well as PCs Microsoft are forecasting that it will be the biggest selling release ever of Windows in the non-business market.
Windows 8 is likely to be released around September.