Microsoft debuted the final beta version of its new operating system, the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. There's no date given for when the final version may launch, but Microsoft showed off some great new features at MWC 2012. Windows 8 is available for download now, and it runs best on tablet devices because of its inclusion of touchscreen technology. Windows is completely redesigned, and with it, interoperability between mobile devices and desktops is closer to reality.

No one, not Google or Apple is moving forward on this principle as aggressively as Microsoft, so to see Windows 8 so close to the finished product just makes the rest of 2012 look that much more fun to look forward. That's because Microsoft will not doubt be rolling out the finished version, and we finally get to see Microsoft tablets in the same space as the iPad and the slew of inferior Android tablets (some are good, plenty are forgettable).

The downloadable Windows 8 preview is available in English, German, Japenese, Chinese and French. You'll need a minimum 1GHz processor and one gigabyte of memory for the 32-bit version (2GB of RAM for the 64-bit version). Additionally, you'll need 16 gigabytes of storage for the 16-bit and 20 gigabytes for the 64-bit versions, and a Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or better. If you are using a tablet, it must have resolution of at least 1024 x 768 to access the Windows Store and download and run apps. Start the slideshow to see the 10 best new features on display from MWC 2012. Let us know in the comments if you think Microsoft is on the right track.

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