Most of you must have already heard yesterday that the Windows 8 Release Preview is available. This public release follows a series of earlier developer and consumer preview releases which aroused controversy. Today's reviews have generally been positive over the wide range of Windows 8 features. For example, zdnet favors most the rich and polished collection of built-in Metro apps and Metro Internet Explorer that has a fully integrated Flash player. pcworld notes that the significant "under-the-hood" improvements - smaller memory footprint, more efficient performance, reduced disk-space requirement, HyperV integration, build-in OneDrive integration, and improved mult-display support - will have major impact on mobile systems usually shipped with contrained memory, CPU and storage. If you would like more information, go to Microsoft News Center to get the latest news and press materials.

So how are we talking about Windows in our Office Developer Blog?

As Steve Ballmer mentioned in the Windows Partner Executive Summit last week in Tokyo, "Windows 8 is at the forefront of what we're doing and I think at the forefront of the ways in which we can create real opportunity for us and for our partners. No matter what you do, Windows 8 should unlock for all of us new opportunities." At the heart of the upcoming Microsoft product pipeline is Windows 8.

As an Office developer, if you haven't yet, it's time to try out the Windows 8 Release Preview. Go to the Windows Dev Center to get updates and information for developing on the Windows 8 platform.