While Microsoft fans and PC users are eagerly waiting to get their hands on the upcoming Windows 8 OS, Windows 8 has already made its way online. Although MSDN and TechNet customers won't officially receive access to the final Windows 8 bits until August 15, an Enterprise version of Windows 8 is available widely across various file sharing sites, reports The Verge. What’s really baffling is that the news comes only a day after Microsoft announced that they had completed all development work on the OS.

The report further states that the version leaked is an “N” edition of Windows 8 which does not include a bundled copy of Windows Media Player. Microsoft was forced to create the special N editions of Windows after the European Commission ruled in 2004 that it needed to provide a copy of Windows without Windows Media Player tied in. Microsoft is tightlipped over the leak.

windows 8 screen

Windows 8 RTM leaked online

Screenshots of the Windows 8 RTM installation were leaked yesterday by Darrenwbaker.com and later mirrored by Neowin.net. Now, the whole OS is available online for you to download and try, provided you don't mind using pirated software.

October 26 is the official date scheduled for Windows 8 to hit the shelves for retail users, but if you are low on patience, then an online search on file sharing websites might make you happy.

Microsoft’s new operating system is special for a number of reasons. It is going to be available for both desktops and tablets. It will also be available for ARM devices through an operating system called Windows RT, which includes the all-new Metro user interface. PCs, notebooks and x86 tablets will have access to the standard Windows 8 operating system, which will include both the new Metro user interface as well as the traditional desktop user interface. The Metro user interface is designed specifically for tablets and touchscreens.

As for the performance part of this OS, if Microsoft is to be believed, then it's going to be a hit with the users. Microsoft is highlighting the features that promise to make this OS better than Windows 7. Hardware acceleration is a point one considers while upgrading an OS or shifting to another OS. So the company is giving out information on the new hardware acceleration features available to client applications in the new Windows 8 OS.

Microsoft’s graphics team claims that graphics performance has been a big focus for Microsoft's next-generation operating system. In a post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft’s graphics group programme manager Rob Copeland explains, ”Graphics performance on Windows depends on both the operating system and the hardware system, comprised of the CPU, the GPU (graphics processing unit), and the associated display driver. To ensure that we could deliver a great experience for new Metro style apps, we needed to make sure that both the software platform and the hardware system would deliver great performance. In the past we’ve used many different benchmarks and apps to measure the performance of DirectX. These have been largely focused on 3D games. While games are still very important, we knew that many of these existing ways to measure graphics performance did not tell us everything we needed to know for graphics-intensive, 2D, mainstream apps.”

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