Countdown begins for Windows 8 Consumer Preview free download [Updated]

Countdown begins for Windows 8 Consumer Preview free download [Updated]

The consumer preview of Microsoft's latest OS will be unveiled at 1am, and is expected to be available for free download soon after. Set your alarm clocks.

Microsoft will officially unveil Windows 8 Consumer Preview at the Mobile World Congress event at around 1am (AEST). We anticipate the download will be available from Microsoft's servers shortly thereafter.

The final release isn't expected to arrive until October, so this is a good opportunity to get to grips with the new OS.

Windows 8 is a significant departure from Windows 7, with a much stronger emphasis on touch integration. Recently leaked Consumer Preview images show a clean interface with no visible menu or Start button. (Previous betas of Windows 8 had included a Start button orb.)  All will be revealed in the next few hours.

UPDATE: The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available to download now. Pay a visit to our download page or the Microsoft website

See also:

Inside Windows 8: a visual tour

R.I.P. Windows start button?

Windows 8: the theory behind that green launch screen

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