Microsoft seems to be closing in on the launch of a Consumer Preview of their Windows 8 operating system.
The company has still not confirmed however whether this version would be sold as Windows 8 or they would change the name before launch.
We are betting on Windows 8 as the branding as numeric versions have been pretty lucky for the company!
Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows 7 have been major successes while Windows Me and Windows Vista were not so great. Windows XP of course is a solid exception to the rule :D
Microsoft would be very much interested in showcasing their Windows Store through this release. This is their own software store that would come pre-installed on all Windows 8 editions.
Users would be able to download (free and paid) apps using this store and these apps would be automatically managed (updated) by the Windows Store. The app store also would make it easy for the user to back up the app settings in the cloud and share the app on multiple installations (depending upon the license).