The company will hold an event in Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 29 to formally launch Windows 8 Consumer Preview, according to an invitation the company sent to journalists Wednesday.
The date and location coincide with the World Mobile Congress, an indication that Microsoft is serious about pushing Windows 8 as a mobile operating system for tablets, as well as for traditional desktops and laptops.
The operating system is the most drastic overhaul of Windows since the release of Windows 95, building off of many elements of its Windows Phone 7 OS.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview release is a follow-up to the Windows 8 Developer Preview, which has been available as a free download since September after Microsoft unveiled that version at its Build conference in Anaheim.
Microsoft has not announced a release date for the final product at this time, but some analysts are predicting late 2012.