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Windows 8 release preview

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Published on May 31, 2012

The name of Microsoft's coming operating system, updated today to Windows 8 Release Preview, implies just another version of an OS once much loved and now much maligned. But Windows 8 means much more to Microsoft: It's a bold attempt to build an Apple-proof operating system with modern visual elements via the risky Metro design language. It's a salvo in the war for tablet relevance. It insists that touch screens matter, and it sets the stage for upcoming versions of Windows Mobile.

For Microsoft to succeed with Windows on all platforms, Windows 8 has to work. The changes in today's Release Preview take a step in the right direction, tightening up the operating system and introducing new apps to showcase just what Windows 8 can do. But Microsoft isn't there yet. This is more "beta two" than "release candidate."

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