Microsoft has announced that a Release Preview of its Windows 8 operating system will be available in the first week of June.
The news means that Windows 8 is nearing code completion, as the Release Preview is likely to be the final pre-release build before the full version is released to manufacturing.
However, Microsoft has so far given little away about what changes will be seen in the Release Preview.
The new version was revealed by Microsoft's Building Windows 8 Twitter feed with an image of Windows President Steven Sinofsky announcing it at a Windows 8 Dev Days event in Japan (pictured above).
Windows 8 is still tipped to be delivered later this year, with sometime in October widely expected to be when the next generation version of Windows finally sees the light of day.
Last week, Microsoft detailed the versions of Windows 8 that will be available at release, including Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro for x86 platforms, Windows RT for ARM-based systems such as tablets, and Windows 8 Enterprise for large organisations.
Microsoft first launched a Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 earlier this year, with millions rushing to test the new system.
V3 noted that while the interface redesign is a bold shift by Microsoft, and one that has some positives, it could cause headaches for the majority of Windows users due to its radical overhaul.
Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.