Windows 8 Release Preview available for download
After a year since the official announcement at CES 2011, this week Microsoft released a non-beta version of its upcoming operating system, Windows 8. The OS is up for download on the official site in ISO or pre-packaged forms. The pre-packaged version directly downloads the OS files into the system, so there are less available options and replaces the main OS of your system. The direct download version is similar to Windows 7's upgrade procedure: the OS finds compatible software and drivers and migrates them to the new OS, and replaces the old OS almost completely. The ISO form allows drive partitioning for a more manageable boot-up sequence if you have other operating systems installed.
A release preview is different from a beta version. A beta version also receives less publicity due to the software's overall unrefined nature, and is pointed more towards developers. In a release preview, most known bugs, issues and less desirable features are eliminated, while improvements are implemented for a closer rendition of the final product.
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