Microsoft may unleash the public beta of Windows 8 in February 2012, according to sources close to the company.

The Windows 8 Developer Preview is already out, but the public beta will bring the much anticipated operating system into the public domain for the first time.

With this beta release date still residing in rumoursville and not yet official, there's no telling exactly what will be in the beta for you to play with.

Windows 8 my baby

We've known (or, you know, guessed) all along that the new Windows OS will be released in 2012, but Microsoft has stayed fairly tight lipped on official timings.

As well as landing on desktops and laptops, the operating system has its sights set on the tablet world too, with manufacturers like Dell and HP reportedly prepping Windows 8 slates for release in 2012.

If the public beta lands in February as rumoured, Microsoft should be just about on track to launch Windows 8 officially in September, just as we've suspected for some time.

The timing seems sound and, after months of rumours, we're itching to see Windows 8 in the wild so we're going to rate this rumour 'quite likely' and keep our fingers crossed.

Rumourometer

For now, feast your eyes on our video preview of Windows 8 below:

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