Microsoft wanted to send out May with a blast so they put a lot of news on their upcoming products – Windows 8, Server 2012, Visual Studio 2012, .NET Framework 4.5, and IE 10. By time I finish writing this up, there might even be more.
Windows 8 Release Preview
Windows 8 Release Preview is now available. This is the next step towards RTM, or Release To Manufacturing, following the Consumer Preview, which came out at the end of February. This will be the last preview and it is available for download in 14 languages from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/release-preview
Included in the blog post that announced the Release Preview availability, many of the recent changes were generally discussed.
- Security and privacy
- Reliability and responsiveness
- Device installation and compatibility
- Software compatibility
- New hardware
The general rule of thumb has been maintained that if you buy a new computer that can run Windows 7, it should be able to run Windows 8.
If you need a new computer sooner rather than later and can’t wait until PCs start shipping with Windows 8 on them, will you have to pay for the bad timing? Yes, but only a little bit.
Microsoft has announced a Windows Upgrade Offer for consumers that purchase an eligible Windows 7 PC between June 2nd 2012 and January 31st, 2013. Those customers will be able to purchase an upgrade license to Windows 8 for $14.99 and download the new operating system the day it is made available to the public.
For more information, visit www.windowsupgradeoffer.com
Windows Server 2012 Datacenter Release Candidate
Windows Server 2012 has reached its Release Candidate form. It can be downloaded for another round of checking out the new functionality of the next Windows server functionality. It is available as a 64-bit ISO in 12 languages or a VHD in English. You can download it and find out more from http://aka.ms/server2012
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
Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate
Visual Studio 2012 RC joins the list of these other upcoming products available for another round of evaluation. Download it from the Visual Studio product page. With it will come .NET Framework 4.5, which you can learn about what is new from this MSDN blog post.
IE 10 Do-Not-Track
Internet Explorer 10 is taking a strong stand for consumer privacy. With the IE10 included in the Windows 8 Release Preview and assumedly the final version, Do-Not-Track is an option and enabled by default, making it the first browser to be on by default. In a blog post from Microsoft’s Chief Privacy Officer, he discusses the environment surrounding DNT.
Our decision to turn on DNT by default in IE10 for Windows 8 should be seen as part of this discussion, as it helps to provide clarity on one side of the discussion – when and how browsers send the DNT signal – and because it advances the idea of privacy as the default state.