Fuelled by support for desktops and tablet devices, and the new Metro user interface, Microsoft says that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview has attracted twice the number of users as the Windows 7 Beta after being available for the same period of time.
Microsoft revealed the news on its @BuildWindows8 Twitter account and said that “millions of people” are using the preview version every day, which is probably not overly surprising given the extensive changes. Indeed, Windows 8 is being viewed by some as the biggest reinvention of the Windows operating system since the launch of Windows 95.
The OS will be Microsoft’s first to sit across desktop and tablet devices – on both Intel and ARM architecture, and sports the tile-based Metro user interface, the Windows App Store, and photo-based log-in. The new version has however attracted some criticism of late for the lack of a Start bar and its Ribbon navigation bar.
Microsoft announced the Consumer Preview at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, where it claimed to have made over 100,000 code changes since the original developer version. Since then, Microsoft has revealed that Windows 8 will support high-resolution tablet displays, and announced three versions of the OS – Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT, the last of which is for those ARM-powered tablets. All three versions are expected to go live in October, although Microsoft has not officially confirmed this.