Microsoft has announced that the 'release preview' of Windows 8 will launch in the first week of June.

The release preview is the next version of Windows 8 since the consumer preview which was made available in February. The announcement was made at Microsoft's Windows 8 Developer Days conference in Japan. See also: Windows 8: the complete guide.

The firm launched a 'release candidate' for Windows Vista and Windows 7 which were the last releases of the software before full launch. We expect this is the case with the Windows 8 release preview which is cited for its full launch in October. Visit Windows 8 Advisor.

Details of the difference between the consumer and release previews haven't been made known. We expect that the operating system will be improved and more stable after receiving feedback and bug reports from the consumer preview.

We'd like to see elements like easier shutdown, see alternative options for running multiple apps and better keyboard and mouse control.

Microsoft said: "Windows 8 consumer preview usage more than twice Windows 7 beta at the same point in time. Millions of people using everyday."

Microsoft Windows 8 Release Preview