At Japan’s Developers Day conference, Steven Sinofsky announced that the Windows 8 Release Preview (build 8400) will be available by first week of June . By now Windows 8 Release Preview ( RP ) and Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate ( RC ) are available for download.
- Windows 8 – Release Preview ( RP )
This is our Microsoft’s pre-release, and includes Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more), and hundreds of new and updated apps in the Windows Store.
Here below some of the newly improved aspects ( abstracted from Steven Sinofsky’s post at Building Windows 8 blog ) :
Installation – We have significant telemetry in the setup process and also significant logging. Of course, if you can’t set up Windows 8 at all, that is something we are interested in, and the same holds for upgrades from Windows 7. Please note the specifics regarding installation requirements and cautions found on the download page.
Security and privacy – Obviously, any vulnerability is a something we would want to address. We will use the same criteria to address these issues as we would for any in-market product.
Reliability and responsiveness – We are monitoring the “crash” reports for issues that impact broad sets of people. These could be caused by Windows code, Microsoft or third-party drivers, or third-party apps. Information about crashes streams in “real time” to Microsoft, and we watch it very carefully. We also have a lot of new data coming on the hundreds of new apps in the Windows Store.
Device installation and compatibility – When you download a driver from Windows Update or install a driver via a manufacturer’s setup program, we collect data about that download via the Plug and Play (PnP) ID program. We’ve seen millions of unique PnP IDs through the Consumer Preview. We also receive the IDs for devices that failed to locate drivers. We are constantly updating the Plug and Play web service with pointers to information about each device (driver availability, instructions, etc.) We actively monitor the use of the compatibility modes required when the first installation of a Windows 7 based product does not succeed.
Software compatibility – Similar to device compatibility, we are also monitoring the installation process for software, and noting programs that do not install successfully. Again, we have the mechanism to help move that forward, and/or introduce compatibility work in the RTM milestone. Here too, we actively monitor the use of compatibility modes required when the first installation of a Windows 7-based product does not succeed. We have tested thousands of complex commercial products from around the world in preparation for the Release Preview.
Servicing – We will continue to test the servicing of Windows 8 so everyone should expect updates to be made available via Windows Update. This will include new drivers and updates to Windows 8, some arriving very soon as part of a planned rollout. Test updates will be labeled as such. We might also fix any significant issue with new code. All of this effort serves to validate the servicing pipeline, and to maintain the quality of the Release Preview.
New hardware – Perhaps the most important category for potential fixes comes from making sure that we work with all the new hardware being made as we all use build 8400. Our PC manufacturing partners and hardware partners are engineering new PCs, and these include hardware combinations that are new to the market and new to the OS. We’re working together to make sure Windows 8 has great support for these new PCs and hardware.
You can get your copy of Windows 8 RP here
Windows Server 2012 – Release Candidate ( RC )
This release of Windows Server, Windows Server 2012, offers businesses and hosting providers a scalable, dynamic, and multitenant-aware, cloud-optimized infrastructure. It securely connects across premises and helps IT Professionals to respond to business needs faster and more efficiently.
Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (RC):
- Takes you beyond virtualization
- Delivers the power of many servers with the simplicity of one
- Opens the door to every app on any cloud
- Enables the modern work style
You can get your Windows Server 2012 RC copy from here