A "consumer preview" is the name Microsoft has given the beta version of the operating system it will exhibit at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona Feb. 29, CNET reported.
Analysts say the choice of location is significant with Microsoft making great efforts to turn Windows into a tablet operating system as well as one that runs PCs.
Windows 8 will have a new interface named Metro, touch-optimized to help Microsoft make up ground against the massive head start Apple has in the tablet market with its iPad.
A number of Metro apps will be bundled with Windows 8, including SkyDrive, Microsoft's effort to connect a user's local PC to the cloud to synchronize settings, preferences and other data, both online and across a range of devices.
The SkyDrive integration will allow users to save and access files directly on their own 25-gigabyte piece of the cloud-based storage service, CNET reported.