3 tidbits about Windows 8 you probably haven’t heard about

Internet Explorer will support upgrading automatically

Buried within the about screen of the Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview is a small checkbox labeled “Install new versions automatically”. While there’s no official documentation (yet) on what this switch does, it appears to allow opt-out of non-critical IE updates that hit Windows Update. The switch is on by default in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

New and refreshed multimedia codecs

Media aficionados will be pleased with the inclusion of a new Dolby Digital (AC3) encoder, presumably to be bundled with premium SKUs of Windows 8 at ship time later this year. The MPEG2 video encoder/decoder and AC3 decoder weren’t ignored either, with both receiving some polish raising both version numbers to 3.

Expiration pushed into 2013

With the Windows 8 Developer Preview expiring soon (March 11, 2012 23:59:59), it comes as no surprise that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview pushes this target back a bit. But for if you want to set your calendar now, put a red sticker on 23:59:59 on January 15, 2013. (Or as readers point out, you can extend your Developer Preview date via an update. But you don’t really want to do that.)