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Appeared on: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The Windows 8.1 Preview Now Available

Microsoft toady provided the Windows 8.1 Preview, which can be downloaded and installed through the Windows Store.

Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are pre-release versions of Windows 8.1. The updates include enhancements in personalization, search, apps, the Windows Store, and cloud connectivity, and have security and reliability features.

Users currently may upgrade to Windows 8.1 Preview from Windows 8 and Windows RT (RT 8.1). Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP users will be offered the final version of Windows 8.1, which will be a free update for Windows 8 later this year through the Windows Store.

Let's see what's new for Windows 8 Preview:

Microsoft strongly recommends that only experienced PC users download Windows 8.1 Preview or Windows RT 8.1 Preview, since they are still under development. In addition, in order to use Windows 8.1 Preview you must sign in to your PC with a Microsoft account. The option to create a local account will be made available at the final release of Windows 8.1.

Besides downloading the updates through the Windows Store, you may also install them by downloading an ISO, butt this option would require you to use the following product key: NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F.

Microsoft will also make available a preview of Windows RT 8.1. However, have in mind that you won't be able to restore Windows RT after you install Windows RT 8.1 Preview, so you'll have to wait for the final version on the OS.

In addition, uninstalling any of the new WIndows updates isn't supported, unless you restore your entire system to its factory condition.

Windows 8.1 Preview is available in Arabic, English (US), Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.

Seperately, Microsoft executives also demonstrated Project Spark, a simulator unveiled at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles this month. It invites gamers to craft virtual worlds with the swipe of a finger, and then play through them on the Xbox One.

Kinect for Windows developer community

Microsoft also today at Microsoft BUILD 2013 made two announcements for Kinect for Windows developer community.

First, starting today, developers can apply for a place in our upcoming developer kit program. This program will give participants exclusive early access to everything they need to start building applications for the new generation Kinect for Windows sensor, including a pre-release version of the new sensor hardware and software development kit (SDK) in November, and a replacement unit of the final sensor hardware and firmware when it is publicly available next year. The cost for the program will be US$399 (or local equivalent). Applications must be received by July 31 and successful applicants will be notified and charged in August.

Additionally, in September Microsoft will again refresh the Kinect for Windows SDK with several exciting updates including:

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