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Windows 8 beta grabs 1 million downloads over one day

Just one day after hitting the Web, the Windows 8 beta, aka the Consumer Preview, has reached a milestone, according to Microsoft.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is off to a hot start.

Proud parent Microsoft tweeted yesterday that 1 million copies had been downloaded since the beta hit the Web on Wednesday. The beta was released on the same day the company demoed the software at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Windows users were clearly curious to sample the beta, especially after tasting the Developer Preview launched last September. A work-in-progress peek into Windows 8, the Developer Preview raised hackles among many who found it geared more toward touch-based tablets than desktops and laptops.

The company touted on Wednesday that more than 100,000 code changes had been made for the beta. And some of those changes were clearly designed to make the OS friendlier for mouse and keyboard users.

At its MWC demo, Microsoft highlighted what it sees as the advantages of Windows 8 for an array of computing devices, including tablets and PCs.

The company also said the new OS will help unify the user experience among computers and mobile devices.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available for download here.