Sure iPhones and iPads are made by Apple, but many if not most iOS users are also Windows users, and just today Microsoft has made their next-generation operating system available for test driving via the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
It's Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability. It's an all-new touch interface. It's a new Windows for new devices. And it's your chance to be one of the first to try it out.
That all-new touch interface is Metro, brought over from Windows Phone 7 and designed to make everything from ultralight slates to full on desktops are easy and fun to use as Microsoft's mobile offerings have become.
Microsoft has a lot of good information -- and tons of videos -- up on their Windows 8 Consumer Preview website, including how to get started, rundowns of all the key features including apps, web, and the cloud, as well as an FAQ to help you out.
Windows 8 will also work on tablets, and on the same ARM-based chipsets that other mobile devices do, meaning it finally lets Microsoft field a true competitor to the iPad. Given Windows' massive install base, especially in enterprise, that could prove interesting. More interesting, however, is the clearly consumer-centric -- it's right there in the name -- focus of this preview. Microsoft is bringing the fight for mainstream computing right to Apple. And they're doing it with style.
How well do Metro and multitouch translate to the PC? Can mobile and desktop, finger and mouse pointer, really live together with no compromises at all? If you've got a spare box or room for another virtual machine, get the Consumer Preview, give it a spin, and let us know.
(Also let us know how iTunes works, or doesn't work, and how happy you are iOS has gone PC free!)
Download: Windows 8 Consumer Preview
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.
Let's talk aesthetic Home screens, Apple Watches, iPhone 12, and more
It's been quite a busy September. We got new Apple Watches, iOS 14 and watchOS 7, new customization trends, and so much more. Let's dive in!
FAQ: TikTok & WeChat ban — why it’s happening and what it means for you
Are TikTok and WeChat really being banned? When does all of this take effect? Will I still be able to use these apps? All this and more answered in our FAQ regarding the latest U.S. orders.
Here's everything we know about the iPhone 12 so far
With the iPhone 12 reportedly just weeks away, here's everything we currently know about Apple's next flagship lineup!
All the Nintendo Switch accessories for Animal Crossing fans
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally out on Nintendo Switch. Go all out with your Animal Crossing love with these adorable-themed accessories.