Although Windows 8 Consumer Preview was the main highlight of the Microsoft releases today, three other important beta releases of Microsoft products also took place simultaneously. The first of them was the IE 10 Platform Preview 5 which is embedded in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Operating System as of now. As mentioned earlier, Internet Explorer 10 will be a touch friendly browser optimized for the Windows 8 OS. The IE 10 browser was available in the Windows 8 Developer Preview version too but the new Platform Preview 5 version has been made a lot more metro UI and touch friendly besides being made faster and more stable. The IE10 beta will now support more HTML5 and Microsoft also reiterated in the official release post that “IE10 in the Metro style experience is plug-in free”. However, both the Metro as well as the traditional desktop styles are available in this release too as it was available in the earlier release.
You can test out the IE10 at the IE Testdrive site at:
However, there is no separate download link for IE 10 Platform Preview 5 and it is clearly mentioned to “Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview to experience IE 10″.
The second beta release is the Visual Studio 11 Beta which is most important Windows developer tool and is also directly linked to the Windows 8 OS. Visual Studio 11 is needed to create the Metro Style apps for Windows 8 Operating System. Visual Studio 11 Preview Express Edition was bundled in one of the Windows 8 Developer Preview versions last year. But this time, Visual Studio 11 Beta has been kept as a separate download from both the 32bit and 64 bit versions of Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The download includes the Windows 8 SDK, Blend for Visual Studio, and project templates.
You can download the developer tools including Visual Studio 11 beta at the official download page at:
Other developer tools on that page include Remote Tools for Visual Studio 11 Beta which allows you to easily install, test, and profile the performance of a Metro style app on a PC running Windows 8 Consumer Preview without Visual Studio 11 Beta installed. The Live SDK, Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows 8 and Multilingual App Toolkit for Visual Studio 11 Beta are available on that page too.
.NET Framework 4.5 Beta was also released today. It can be downloaded from the official download page at:
or at the Visual Studio 11 Beta page here: