Microsoft's highly anticipated Windows 8 Release Preview is now available to download. The software giant promised its near-final Windows 8 build would arrive in early June and the company has delivered it ahead of that goal, albeit by just a day. Today's release marks the final test copy of Windows 8 to be released publicly and should give us a better understanding of the changes Microsoft has made to accomodate desktop and tablet users.

We're hoping to see a large number of improvements in the built-in Metro style apps that Microsoft offers with Windows 8, and some additions from third-party developers. Microsoft's initial Windows 8 Consumer Preview apps were fairly basic, and the Windows Store offered a small number of apps. Today's Release Preview should improve on these aspects in a number of ways — be sure to check out our hands-on impressions.