Windows 8 Available on Microsoft Connect [Invitation Only]

A number of top blogs are reporting that Microsoft has begun to distribute early copies of Windows 8 to key OEM partners via Microsoft Connect. The software giant’s Connect is an external testing system, My Technology Guide has learned that the company is distributing build 7971.0.110324-1900.

According to one poster at the My Digital Life forums, the program is advertised as Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release Program, on Microsoft’s Connect site and requires a special invite code.

OEM’s have received an invitation code to download Windows 8 via Connect. Following is the download URL but the invitation code has been removed for obvious reasons:

Microsoft is expected to be readying a Windows 8 beta for September. Microsoft’s primary Windows 8 interface is believed to be fully 3D. The interface will be “fully dynamic” and able to adapt to user habits. Icons and shortcuts will adapt to different usage scenarios to speed up daily tasks. Windows 8 is also rumored to include a new fast hibernation system. The system will hibernate in around three to six seconds and save all open documents and running tasks.

Paul Thurrott suggests that Microsoft is working on a tile-based user interface codenamed Mosh. “I have to believe that this UI will be an alternative UI, and not a full replacement, or will appear only on low-end tablet-like devices aimed at the iPad,” wrote Thurrott.

Rumors also suggests about a dual-UI for Windows 8. Windows 8 will also include a new app model codenamed Jupiter that will target a new Windows Marketplace app store. The app store will provide access to new, Silverlight based “immersive” applications that are deployed as AppX packages (.appx). The Windows and Office teams are betting very heavily on this new app type, according to my source, and development has already begun using a beta version of Visual Studio 2012. These apps can be written in C#, Visual Basic, and even C++. Microsoft is also building a system reset function in Windows 8.

windows 8 system reset

Microsoft has so far been extremely quiet on the Windows 8 front. Windows Chief, Steven Sinofsky, took to the stage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January to introduce a technology preview of Microsoft’s Windows ARM support and show off an early build of Windows 8. Microsoft is partnering with ARM-based manufactures NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to produce new Tablet devices.

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