A:  Microsoft has released its highly anticipated Beta version of Windows 8, called the Consumer Preview. Users and enthusiasts can now download and test the Consumer Preview for free. The new release works well with keyboard and mouse -- not just with touch-based systems.

Along with the Beta version, you can also get your first peek at the Windows Store, the app store built into Windows 8.

Below are some great resources around the Windows "8" Beta and Consumer Preview.

Window Server 8

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows 8 Miscellaneous