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Windows 8 makes its beta debut

Beta of next iteration of the OS lands, while Apple announces what is expected to be an iPad 3 event. Also: Facebook and Zynga breaking up?

week in review Making the biggest splash at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, this week was Microsoft, which took the wraps off the next iteration of its operating system.

Microsoft is trying to sew up the seams that separate mobile phones, laptops, desktops, and tablets and offer consumers a "consistent" experience, regardless of what type of device they are using, Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky said as he unveiled the beta for the Windows 8 operating system. The company is doing so by focusing simultaneously on the operating system, apps, and hardware.

As a result, using Windows 8 should be a "super fun experience," Sinofsky said. Windows 8 has undergone more than 100,000 code changes since the Developer Preview was released and will feel much more "refined," Sinofsky said. He called Windows 8 a "generational change" in its design, function, and implementation.

•  Windows 8 Beta: Hands-on with Microsoft's tablet-friendly OS
•  Where to get the Windows 8 beta
•  Windows 8 apps: Get 'em while they're free
•  What Microsoft wants you to think about the Windows 8 beta
•  Windows 8 on ARM, but don't hold your breath
•  Windows 8 FAQ

More headlines

Apple sends out invites for March 7 iPad event

Apple invites members of the media to an event in San Francisco next week, where the company is expected to unveil the next version of the iPad.
•  Why the iPad 3 could be in short supply
•  eBay's iPad trade-ins up tenfold from same time last year
•  The curious case of the missing iPad 3 home button
•  iPad 3 may come in three flavors

Facebook launches Timeline for Pages

The new timeline feature is now available for Pages as well as personal profiles, allowing users to visually check out the history of a business or brand.
•  New York Times Facebook Timeline harks back to 1851

Zynga takes its first step toward a post-Facebook future

New initiatives, including a standalone gameplay site, give the social gaming company some independence from Facebook. But it's not cutting the cord just yet.
•  Are Facebook and Zynga about to break up?
•  Zynga readies 'private cloud' to run partners' games

AT&T to have app developers pick up bandwidth tab?

Carrier considers system that would allow app publishers to pay for the subscribers' use of apps, according to The Wall Street Journal.
•  Guess who'd like to 'throttle' AT&T now?
•  Would an AT&T 'toll-free' data service stifle app innovation?
•  AT&T solidifies data-throttling details for unlimited users

Verizon to offer shared family data plan by midyear

The carrier confirms that it's aiming to unveil a family data plan around the middle of the year as more people strive to connect more devices.

Apple wins another one against Motorola in Germany

A German court has ruled that Motorola Mobility violates a patent Apple holds related to the way in which photo galleries are displayed in mobile operating systems.
•  Yahoo picks patent fight with Facebook

How Anonymous channels 'the will of the people' (Q&A)

A member of Anonymous tells CNET why the activist effort targets government and corporate Web sites, even in the face of arrest, and why it has your best interests at heart.
•  Interpol sweep nets 25 Anonymous suspects
•  Anonymous: Occupy the November election

Kim DotCom: Why didn't MPAA sue me?

The MegaUpload founder says his attorneys told him his service was legal. In seven years, he never got so much as a cease-and-desist letter from any major copyright owner.
•  MegaUpload founder to remain free on bail
•  Kim DotCom wants $180,000 per month to live on

Chinese get past censors and onto Facebook, YouTube, Twitter

The Far East government is known for strict censorship when it comes to social networking, but this week its citizens caught onto a glitch in the system and glimpsed an uncensored world.
•  China occupies Obama's Google+ page

Also of note
•  Space station control codes on stolen NASA laptop
•  Microsoft hires FTC attorney and public critic of Google
•  Andrew Breitbart, controversial Internet news pioneer, dead at 43