Microsoft is well on its way to providing a public beta copy of Windows 8, and we got an early hands-on with a pre-beta version of the operating system today. Windows 8 build 8175 is on show at CES 2012, and Microsoft is demonstrating some of the latest features to the crowd of attendees. The most recent build includes a new touch gesture to close Metro apps from view, some keyboard and mouse improvements, and the new video/music Metro app players.

Microsoft also confirmed some recently leaked images that demonstrated a color picker for the Start Screen, and a translucent Charms Bar. Windows 8 build 8175 includes the ability to switch the Start Screen colors, and you'll see from our hands-on pictures that there's a high level of customization available. The software giant has previously promised that a Windows 8 beta will be made available in late February, alongside the new Windows Store, and we'd expect to see these improvements alongside even more changes.