It was only yesterday morning that the Microsoft team held an event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and announced that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, essentially a prerelease version of Windows 8, would be made available immediately for public download. Windows 8 was described by Microsoft was "Windows reimagined", which sounds awfully familiar to the "Inspired by iPad, reimagined for Mac" tagline that Apple are muttering with their Mountain Lion OS.

Windows 8 is something that has been generating a lot of interest in recent months and promises to focus more on people and applications, allowing users to connect easily using social technologies, while still featuring the solid foundation of Windows 7. One of the essential parts of Windows 8 is the versatility of the operating system and the benefits Microsoft are hoping it will provide to users of touch-capable devices such as tablet PCs. With Windows Phone devices slowly gaining in popularity, Microsoft will be hoping that 2012 and beyond will bring a stream of touch-enabled tablets running Windows 8.

A lot of people seem to get confused by the term ‘Consumer Preview’, but the fact is that this is just a fancy way of telling the public that Windows 8 is still in the beta stages of development and is definitely not ready for primetime public consumption. Although the prerelease version still contains some bugs, it doesn’t seem to have stopped the Joe public from giving it a whirl, as Microsoft has just tweeted out telling the world that the Windows 8 preview has been downloaded a massive one million times in its first full day of availability.

Build8 copy

As The Verge rightly point out, that equates to a quite staggering three and a half petabytes of data, or roughly a download rate of 41GB per second for an entire twenty four hours. Impressive stuff. It would seem that Microsoft can give themselves a little pat on the back on a job well done, as we would definitely classify those kind of download statistics as an overwhelming success. If you haven’t received your slice of the Metro action yet, then head on over to the official download page and get involved.

Win8CP

If you aren’t intending on download this prerelease version then make sure to heed the warning that is displayed by Microsoft. This software is essentially a beta version which may change dramatically upon final release. It is also worth noting that once installed, it cannot be rolled back to Windows 7 or whatever version of Windows you are running so make sure you keep that in mind or install on a separate partition.

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