Microsoft shows off Windows 8 preview: Are you excited yet?

Boxes! Sliding! Videos! Woo?

Today in Barcelona, Microsoft announced the release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, available for download to anyone who has a few dozen hours to kill (OK, maybe not that, but we've been trying for at least half-the-day without much success).

Fortunately, Microsoft has posted a bunch of videos on YouTube showing off some of the snazzier features of the preview. As that boxing announcer guy says, "Are you ready for some Windows 8 preeeeeeeeeeeeeeeview?"

In this video, Jensen Harris from the Windows User Experience team gives a much quieter demonstration of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Finally, we get a preview of the winners of the Windows 8 Apps Contest that Microsoft held late last year, proving that Windows 8 truly does have some "Developers, developers, developers!" that Steve Ballmer is always screaming about. From the results shown in this video, new Windows 8 users will at least get to have some more options beyond Solitaire and Minesweeper. Woot!

So, what's the verdict? Microsoft, of course, says that this is just a preview, that the official OS won't be out until later, and most of us will just want to buy a new notebook with the thing pre-installed rather than try to upgrade our system ourselves. Have you tried it? Do you like it? Is it too little, too late?

Read more of Keith Shaw's ITworld.TV blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Keith on Twitter at @shawkeith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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