Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview now

It’s finally here! The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available for download in English, French German Chinese and Japanese. The whole thing weights less that 4Gb for the ISO and around 1.9GB if you use the installer so hit the break and start downloading it and have some fun. Wanted to also let you know that I going to post more about it in the coming hours and days as I now own a Samsung Slate on which I’m installing the Consumer preview right now.

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Microsoft certifying Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 SoC for Windows Phone 8

Let’s not act surprised here folks. It was no secret that Qualcomm would still be the preferred SoC provider for Windows Phone 8 so the latest rumors that Microsoft is currently testing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 aka the MSM8960 SoC for a future Windows Phone 8 Apollo handset isn’t the least surprising. The MSM8960 is the Dual-Core Krait beast featuring the Adreno 225 GPU which will be shipping in the LTE version of the HTC One X Android handset and from the looks of it Microsoft my have rightfully decided to skip the S3 generation in favor of the S4 for WP8 in part because the later has built-in LTE radios and because this particular SoC will also be Qualcomm’s first Windows 8 certified platform (even though the Windows 8 version may be the Snapdragon S4 Pro with the Adreno 320 GPU).

Now this may sound worrying to current Windows Phone owners who have only Snapdragon S1 ans S2 powered devices but as far as we know those handset shouldn’t have any problem running Windows Phone 8 later this year.

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Unified Bing Maps and Nokia Maps design launched

Microsoft and Nokia have just announced the unification of the their mapping services design. This one of the first result of the partnership signed last year between both companies that outlined the integration of Nokia’s Navteq assets into Microsoft’s Bing Maps service. As of today, Bing Maps and Nokia Maps have a unified map elements and color palette and the same Nokia Pure font. Frankly you won’t really notice much of a difference in Bing Maps but Nokia Maps unfortunately looks a bit washed out now. You can compare both offerings directly on you windows phone if you have a Nokia handset via the OS’s Maps application and the Nokia Maps app. Nokia Drive will get the same color treatment in the upcoming 3.0 update coming out in the coming weeks.

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