Windows 8 Consumer Preview coming to Australia on the 1st of March

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Microsoft has finally detailed the release date and some more details for the Windows 8 ‘Consumer Preview’, also known as a public beta.

The launch will come from Mobile World Congress on February 29, US time, from between 3PM and 5PM CET, which is around 3AM AEST on March 1. Being at a mobile conference, the launch could include demos on tablets or possibly even a look at Windows Phone 8.

We already know that the preview will not have a Start button, thanks to fairly realistic leaks, and that the preview will include, thanks to a source from inside Microsoft at The Verge:

  • Camera
  • Messaging
  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • SkyDrive
  • People
  • Photos
  • Video
  • Music

The Music and Video applications are currently under the Zune umbrella and built by the Xbox team, but The Verge is also hearing that Zune will be moved to the Xbox brand before final release of Windows 8. So that might mean that Zune Pass will become Xbox Music Pass, although that’s just me speculating.

All of the preinstalled applications can be updated from the Microsoft Store. The source at Microsoft also said MS wants the Messaging application to support SMS, but it is not known whether they will be able to do this before launch.

Finally, all 3 of you Media Center users might have to put on a brave face, as Microsoft is expected to not update the software, and will be revealing more details about it during the CP. This is part of their effort to turn the Xbox 360 into your TV media appliance. It is also said to be available only in a “premium” SKU of Windows. So possibly Windows 8 Ultimate?

We’ll be here to guide you through the beta as soon as we can, so stay tuned to TECHGEEK.com.au for all the info you need.