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(Pocket-lint) - The Windows 8 Consumer Preview, ie, the first time that Joe and Joanna Public will be able to take Microsoft's new baby for a spin, will go live on 29 February.

The launch date has been confirmed courtesy of a Mobile World Congress invite which is set for the leap-year extra day at 3pm Spanish time. Microsoft had promised a February launch for the platform and so it seems it will keep to its word.

Over in Vegas at CES, Pocket-lint was given its strongest indication yet that Microsoft will launch Windows 8 in October.

Discussing the launch time frame during a briefing and demo session of the next-gen OS, Janelle Poole, director of public relations of the Windows Business Group, said: "We haven't talked about the release date and we generally don't. We are talking milestone to milestone, so for us right now we're talking about the next milestone being the consumer preview happening in late February. 

"One of the things that I think is a good guideline though, is we've always said that Windows releases come round about every three years and this year will be three years in October since we launched Windows 7. So I think that's a good guideline to consider."

October has long been touted as the month that the Metro UI-tastic platform will land, but this was the biggest hint that we had been given so far.

Pocket-lint will, of course, be out in Barcelona in force covering all the MWC news as it breaks so be sure to check back during the show for comprehensive coverage.

Writing by Paul Lamkin.