San Francisco - Microsoft on Thursday released the final test version of its next-generation Windows software crafted to power devices ranging from tablets to desktop computers.
"We're thrilled to be at this milestone with the Windows 8 Release Preview," said Windows and Windows Live division president Steven Sinofsky.
The nearly finished Windows 8 software was available for download in 14 languages at preview.windows.com.
Availability of Windows 8 Release Preview marks the final phase of development before the operating system becomes available to makers of computers and other devices.
A "consumer preview" version of Windows 8 was downloaded more than a million times in the 24 hours after its release in February, according to Microsoft.