I am not sure when it is arriving beyond the confirmed time frame of late February but it certainly appears that preparations are being made for the launch of what will be a consumer preview.

The below screenshot is from a page on Bing (thanks to Liveside for the heads up) that appeared this weekend.


As you can see it has the Betta Fish image, this one is a video of the fish swimming across the screen, that first appeared in the Windows 7 Beta as wallpaper plus there are some links embedded in the image itself as well as links along the bottom of the screen.

It looks like Mary Jo Foley was correct when she wrote about a week ago that the expected February beta might be labeled the Consumer Preview.  I say that because one of the embedded links in the page is linked to a Frequently asked questions page to get answers to your questions about Windows 8 Consumer Preview.  Also the first visible link on the bottom of the screen frame is to a see what’s new Windows 8 Consumer Preview link.

I recall a Twitter conversation a couple weeks ago that referenced to a saying that was under promise – over deliver.  Back in December the beta was announced for late February during a Windows Store preview press conference but now here we are in early February with preparations being made for the consumer preview.  Maybe that means the consumer preview will be released to the masses earlier than late February.

I am going to venture a guess here and say mid February is when we will see the preview released to everyone.

What do you think? 

If you comment and leave a date in your prediction the person closest to the correct release date will receive a Windows 7 mouse pad and sticker.  Any ties will be broken with a random drawing.