Windows 8 Release Preview Now Available Today, as of May 31, 2011 - Fujitsu's Windows 8 and Android Tablets Roadmap Leaked

Microsoft is 'possibly' today, will release a Release Preview of Windows 8, according to a blog posts that briefly appeared on Microsoft's new Windows 8 Hardware blog. The reported suggested May 31st would be the big day, and then the post quickly vanished from the blog and the web as well including Google / Bing […]

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Microsoft is 'possibly' today, will release a Release Preview of Windows 8, according to a blog posts that briefly appeared on Microsoft's new Windows 8 Hardware blog. The reported suggested May 31st would be the big day, and then the post quickly vanished from the blog and the web as well including Google / Bing cache as well.

The post dated May 31, and written by Chuck Chan, cvp of the Windows Development team entilted "Windows Hardware and Driver Developer Blog" starts with a welcome note "Welcome to the Windows 8 Hardware blog! I'm Chuck Chan…" -- and later in the sentence notes, that the "Windows 8 Release Preview" on the Windows Dev Centr has been made available today.

However, we have managed to get the "original" screenshot of the blog post as well as the text in its entirety as pasted below -- note, unlike some blogs, we're not claiming it ours by pasting our logo etc. -- becuase, it's the Microsoft post and should remain.

The original post in few hours will appear back on the blog here, Microsoft "confirmed" to us.

Here are the download links from the post:

Windows 8 Release Preview Annoucement Post Screen

Here is the post text (please note, as we're not copy & paste blog, we have removed the of course, we have removed Microsoft's inline CSS styling of paragraph and links).

Welcome to the Windows 8 Hardware blog! I'm Chuck Chan,
Corporate Vice President on the Windows Development team. We're very excited to
make available today the Windows 8 Release Preview on the Windows Dev Center. Windows 8 represents a leap forward for the Windows platform, the
development tool set, and the device experiences you can build for Windows.
We're launching this blog to give you some insight into how we designed and
built Windows 8, and to explore the best practices for developing great
hardware and drivers, as you enter the new world of Windows 8 development.

The people contributing to this blog are the engineers
building Windows 8 and the tools and kits that support it. Our goal is to help
you get started by focusing on the "why" and "how" of building amazing PCs and
device experiences for Windows 8. Each blog post will present a development
topic and tie together information from the Dev Center, Forums, MSDN Library, and where it makes sense, samples from the Windows Hardware Code Gallery.

We designed the Windows 8 platform and tools to help you
create high-quality drivers and Metro style device apps using an integrated,
modern tool set. Using the Windows Driver Kit (WDK) and Visual Studio, you can
write, build, sign package, deploy, test, and debug your drivers and apps
directly from Visual Studio. With the new Windows Hardware Certification Kit,
you can ensure the compatibility and reliability of your devices, and provide a
great overall user experience.

To get started, download and install Windows 8 Release Preview, the Windows Driver Kit 8, and Visual Studio Professional 2012. The Windows 8 SDK is also included with Visual Studio. As you begin using Windows 8, you'll
notice that we've added new features and improved existing ones. In addition to
providing a modern tool set, we've also been hard at work improving power
management and refining the way you provide a great user experience for devices
with Metro style device apps. We'll share more
details in future posts.

The Windows Development team will post to this blog once
every one to two weeks until the release of Windows 8. Commenting is
encouraged, and we are looking forward to a lively conversation. Please apply
common courtesy and stay on topic with your comments. The Windows Hardware Community Forum is also a great place for hardware-related questions and discussion about
Windows 8.

We can't wait to see the amazing devices and experiences
you're building for Windows 8 come to life!

Chuck Chan, May 31 2012

In other Windows 8 releated news, Microsoft is reported working on to prevent third-party developers from releasing modifications and hacks in an attempt to re-enable the Start button and Start Menu in future builds.

In a blog post Paul Thurrott notes, "Microsoft has been furiously ripping out legacy code in Windows 8 that would have enabled third parties to bring back the Start button, Start Menu, and other software bits that could have made this new OS look and work like its predecessor."

Whilst we are aware that certain UI hacks enabled the Start Button and Menu in the Consumer Preview, Thurrott confirms that they will simply not work on the Release Preview that will be released later today. "In fact, I've seen that several well-known UI hacks that worked fine with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview are no longer functional in the coming Release Preview," he said.

And those with hopes that Microsoft would allow businesses, at least, to boot directly to the desktop should prepare for disappointment. That feature not only isn't happening, it's being removed from Windows Server 12 (Windows 8's stable mate) as well.

Microsoft hasn't made such an obviously consumer-centric version of Windows since Millennium Edition (Windows Me), and the question isn't whether businesses will ignore this release, as they did Windows Vista. Of course they will. Despite a growing debate over the Metro UI not being as intuitive on desktop PCs as it is on tablets, Microsoft doesn't appear to be willing to offer a solution to people who simply prefer the old way of doing things in a desktop environment with its upcoming Windows 8 release.

Microsoft already plans on dropping the Aero UI before the RTM builds so there's clearly very little room for any major additional changes before the operating system ships later this year - which means Microsoft will not cave in to the idea of re-incorporating the Start button, Start Menu and parts of the desktop interface.

Also, according to a leaked roadmap, Fujitsu, plans to show Windows 8 running desktops, notebooks, tablets and slates running next week at the Computex trade show.

Fujitsu Windows 8 and Android tablets Roadmap

One of their Windows 8 slates is labeled "STYLISTIC Q5xx" on the roadmap with a 10.1 inch display that's due out in the latter part of the third quarter of 2012. The other is called "New performance Slate with attachable keyboard" (we assume that's a working title) that's due out in the beginning of the fourth quarter, reports Slashgear.

In addition, Fujitsu has two Android tablets in the works. One is titled "10-inch High-End Bacura" on the product road map and the other is shown with the label "10-inch Volume Android slate."

In addition to these lovely additions to the Fujitsu family coming this year, several Windows 7 "convertable tablets" will be popping up in the coming months. The first is a Lifebook T902 with a 13.3-inch display, that second is a Lifebook T732 with 12.1-inch display, both of these device being pushed with 3rd Generation Intel Core Ivy Bridge processors and will be guaranteed an upgrade to Windows 8.