Microsoft has announced that they will be launching the beta version of Windows 8, called the Consumer Preview on Wednesday, February 29 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The fact that Windows 8 has been designed from the grounds up for tablets suggests why Microsoft would want to announce its next operating system at a mobile event.
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s application store for the Windows 8 is also expected to go live on the same day. As you may know, the Windows Marketplace will be the only place to download Metro-style apps on Windows 8. Initially, the Marketplace is supposed to open only with free apps from a bunch of developers invited by Microsoft, with paid apps being made available probably with the release of the operating system later this year.
The launch of the Consumer Preview marks the second step in the release of Windows 8, the first being the release of the Developer Preview, the third being the release of the Release Candidate and the final one being the proper release of the operating system.