Microsoft revealed plans to unveil a test version of its latest Windows computer operating software later this month.
The US technology titan sent out invitations to a "Windows Consumer Preview" event to be held on February 29 at a hotel in Barcelona during a Mobile World Congress gathering in that city.
Microsoft promised to release more information closer to the end of the month.
The introduction of a test, or beta, version of Windows 8 to the public is expected to be accompanied by the opening of an " app store" stocked with mini-programs tailored for the next-generation operating system.
In December, Microsoft began wooing developers for a February opening of its first Windows Store intended to feature third-party applications crafted for computers powered by the Redmond, Washington-based firm's software.
It will take on Apple and Google in the booming market of fun, hip or functional programs built for smartphones, tablets and computers.