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Windows 8 Release Candidate to surface by early June?

Could Microsoft unveil the Windows 8 Release Candidate as soon as early June? At least one report says yes.

Blogging site WinUnleaked.tk seems certain of that, spilling the beans over the weekend that "we know the Release Candidate of Windows 8 will be shared with the public between the end of May to the beginning of June." Apparently receiving the intel from an unnamed source, the site notes that the RC will sport at least a few changes from the current beta.

Modifications are in store for the Charms bar, the desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, … Read more

Miss the start button in Windows 8? This app will bring it back

People who just can't work in Windows 8 without the classic start button may want to check out a free app called Start8.

Designed by the folks at Stardock, Start8 tries to merge the convenience of the start button with the functionality of the new Metro environment. As such, it moves beyond the standard start menu with some unique features of its own.

You can download Start8 from its dedicated Web page and install it in the current beta, aka Consumer Preview, edition of Windows 8. Installation is quick and simple. After the app is installed, you'll see … Read more

With CS6, Photoshop takes a step toward Videoshop

Don't beat yourself up if you didn't know that some modest video editing abilities are tucked into the premium version of Photoshop CS5.

But expect a lot more starting today, when Adobe Systems releases an open beta version of Photoshop CS6 code-named Superstition.

The new version brings video from the higher-priced Extended version of Photoshop to the standard version, and it adds editing features such as the ability to apply Photoshop tone and color adjustments. And instead of relying on Apple's QuickTime, the new tool draws from Adobe technology elsewhere in the Creative Suite, such as the … Read more

New Firefox beta romances developers

Firefox 12 beta makes more than 85 changes to its developer tools, Windows users will no longer get pestered by a User Account Control pop-up every time the browser updates, and the HTML5 media controls have been updated

Updated today, Firefox 12 beta (download for Windows | Mac | Linux), pushes the browser closer to some of Google's notable achievements with Chrome. However, Mozilla's renewed focus on Web developers is a clear indication that it sees value in paying attention to the relatively small but hugely influential developer communities.

A Mozilla representative told CNET that Firefox 13 Aurora is due … Read more

Install Windows 8 virtually with free software

Don't have a dedicated PC on which to install Windows 8? No problem. Just install the OS virtually on an existing PC using a free virtual machine utility.

Various VM applications will let you install an operating system in a virtual environment on your Windows desktop or laptop. But not all are free and not all support the latest Windows 8 beta.

A product such as VMWare Workstation 8 supports Windows 8 but costs $200. Microsoft's own Windows Virtual PC is free but won't accept Windows 8 as a guest.

Instead, you can use Oracle's VirtualBox … Read more

Windows 8 beta grabs 1 million downloads over one day

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is off to a hot start.

Proud parent Microsoft tweeted yesterday that 1 million copies had been downloaded since the beta hit the Web on Wednesday. The beta was released on the same day the company demoed the software at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Windows users were clearly curious to sample the beta, especially after tasting the Developer Preview launched last September. A work-in-progress peek into Windows 8, the Developer Preview raised hackles among many who found it geared more toward touch-based tablets than desktops and laptops.

The company touted on Wednesday that … Read more

Windows 8 on Intel is unlike ARM in crucial way, Microsoft confirms

Microsoft made it clear today why Windows 8 on an Intel-based tablet will be different from competing tablets based on ARM chips.

After speaking in Barcelona for close to an hour today about how Windows 8 on Intel and Windows 8 on ARM (WOA) will be the same, two Microsoft executives addressed, albeit briefly, a much more sensitive topic: why they're also very different.

Windows 8 marks the first time that a mainstream Windows operating system will run on processors from ARM chip suppliers like Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia in addition to those from Intel and AMD.

First, … Read more

How to install Windows 8 beta

Microsoft's Windows 8 beta is now available as a free download, which means that it's time to figure out how to install it.

Officially called the Consumer Preview, the Windows 8 beta is actually quite simple to install. There are some requirements, though. Most Windows 7 computers ought to be able to handle Windows 8. You'll want to have: a 1 gigahertz or faster processor 1 gig of RAM for 32-bit or 2 gigs for 64-bit a 16 gig hard drive for 32-bit, or 20 gigs for 64-bit a graphics card that supports Microsoft DirectX 9 or … Read more

Can my PC run the Windows 8 beta test build?

Now that Microsoft has made the Windows 8 beta (known officially as the "Consumer Preview) available for public download, those wanting to kick the tires may be wondering whether their PCs and tablets can handle it.

The Consumer Preview is close to being "code complete" and looks and feels very much how the final version of Windows 8 will when it launches later this year. The Consumer Preview is meant for anyone who is undaunted by technology to try, though Microsoft isn't advising anyone to load this on their primary PCs without remembering that it is … Read more

Windows 8 beta: It's a whole new Windows

First Take:

Microsoft pulled back much of the scaffolding and secrecy surrounding Windows 8 today at Mobile World Congress. I've been using the Windows 8 beta (download), officially known as the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, for the past week, and it's by far the most integrated and capable operating system Microsoft has ever put out. The question is, will enough people care?

There's a phenomenal amount of change here to discuss, but if you're looking for a quick summary: Windows 8 is a breeze to use. It's tricked out with social networking and synchronization, it'… Read more