Microsoft has just revealed the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 in MWC 2012, and on the first day itself, the new operating system has been downloaded 1 million times as per a Twitter post by Microsoft. The figures are good for an OS in beta version. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available as a free download from Microsoft Preview Web site. You can grab the early build for free.

Windows 8 Developer Preview was released last year. Now with Consumer Preview, we have got a closer look about what kind of OS Windows 8 will really be. Here’s a rundown of 5 exciting features Windows 8 boasts of.

Metro UI

Metro UI has been adopted from Windows Mango OS for mobile phones. The Metro icons are almost identical, but promise a better functionality in Windows 8. This UI is centralized for tablets and touch-enabled desktops. Windows has waved good-bye to its Start button. Instead, moving the mouse pointer to lower-left corner of the screen automatically pops up the Metro UI window showing recently opened applications.

Security

Malware threats are always high on Windows and users are vulnerable. Security breach is common on Windows OS. Now Microsoft aims to provide rich security features in its new operating system. Windows Defender is familiar to us. But, Microsoft has introduced another new security feature in Windows 8 named Secure Boot. This program loads early while booting and prevents any malware from taking control of the system.

Fast Boot Time

Nobody likes waiting for more than a minute to look at the desktop of Windows OS. Microsoft is cutting short the boot up time in Windows 8 with some partial hibernation techniques which saves the state of system when shutting down the system, so that next time Windows can load up quickly.

Windows To Go

Well, I do not know about what you think, but for me Windows To Go is the most-wanted feature in Windows 8. USB can easily be used as a boot device for installing Windows 7 through Microsoft DVD/USB Download Tool. The concept is old but the features are new. With Windows To Go, users can make a copy of Windows 8 on their flash drive and carry them wherever you go. They can boot Windows 8 from USB on any Windows 7 or 8 compatible computer system.

Microsoft Store

The app support for Metro UI has just got a boost with Microsoft Store – another new feature included in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Users will need Microsoft ID to log in to Microsoft Store. Windows Store looks like a rival feature to Apple’s Mac Store/iTunes. Though Microsoft does not hold the advantage over Apple right now, the Microsoft Store will feature lots of applications – both free and paid – in the near future.

(reported by Johnny Wills, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)