What’s one way for Microsoft to jump-start acceptance of its next revolutionary OS iteration? Make sure the developers are on board. To that end, the software giant gave the 5,000 developers attending this week’s BUILD conference custom-built Samsung tablets (with 4GB RAM and 64GB of storage) running a beta version of the upcoming Windows 8.
Why tablets? Because if Microsoft is to maintain its share in what Steve Jobs has called a“post-PC era” populated by iPads and Android gadgets, it will have to make Windows very tablet-friendly.
Has it succeeded? Early word indicates that if nothing else, preview users are impressed by Microsoft’s willingness to finally break the mold of 20 years of Windows and embrace faster boot up, touch-enabled interfaces and a serious evolution of the classic file folder metaphor.
You can see for yourself; download it now for free. The Windows 8 preview, which ranges from 2.8GB to 4.8GB in size depending on configurations, comes with no restrictions, except the time it may take for the download to complete. The preview requires a PC with 1GB RAM (2GB for the 64-bit edition) and 16GB of drive space (20GB for 64-bit). You must overwrite the system’s current operating system (XP, Vista or Windows 7) with a clean install.