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

Boxes! Sliding! Videos! Woo?

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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?

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