Businesses and consumers can now download Windows 8 Release Preview from the Microsoft site.
Microsoft said the February release of Windows 8 Consumer Preview was downloaded more than 1 million times in the first 24 hours.
Microsoft is targeting consumers with apps including Bing travel, news and sports apps, as well as gaming and music Xbox apps that integrate with users’ Zune pass.
It also includes business-specific features focusing on speed, reliability, security and IT administration, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is providing built-in mobile broadband metering to help businesses keep data usage costs low.
Among the new features is a form of mobile roaming that Microsoft says allows mobile users to move between locations with Windows 8 automatically picking up Wi-Fi hotspots where they’re available.
Windows To Go is another addition to the OS for business users, which Microsoft says can be used to provide alternative workplace scenarios.
This is available on Windows 8 Professional and Windows 8 Enterprise editions. With Windows To Go IT, administrators can provide employees with a corporate Windows image on a compatible USB storage device that includes line-of-business applications, settings, and corporate data.
Windows 8 also includes DirectAccess and BranchCache. DirectAcess provides VPN-like services to connect to corporate networks.
BranchCache downloads files and apps from a corporate headquarters, storing this data in the branch office. Client PCs in the branch office can access the content locally, rather than repeatedly downloading it from headquarters, Microsoft said.
The new operating system offers multimonitor support. It includes Internet Explorer 10, which Microsoft said had been optimised for touch-enabled devices and includes Adobe Flash Player.