The Windows 8 beta, to be called a ‘consumer preview,’ is right around the corner. Today, a leak to The Verge revealed what applications Microsoft plans to include pre-installed in the Windows 8 beta.

We’ll paste the apps’ names below. Before we do, it’s important to remember that Microsoft has a history of ensuring that beta software components are of a certain quality. By that we mean that it can be expected that each of the following apps has been vetted. What ‘made the cut’ is therefore, in our synthesis, what the beta will contain, and not anything that is insufficiently baked.

Here’s the list:

  • Camera
  • Messaging
  • Mail
  • Calendar
  • SkyDrive
  • People
  • Photos
  • Video
  • Music

That Mail is coming at last will mean that Windows 8 will, finally, be an operating system that has some real use to it, other than testing out the build itself. Microsoft will also include several games in the consumer preview, the full list of which you can find here. Other applications may make it into the beta. Apps included in the beta will not necessarily be present in all final versions of Windows 8.

Microsoft has promised that the Windows Store will also be a part of the consumer preview, showing off its plans to move past boxed software, and likely into a fully digital software distribution model. The beta of Windows 8 is set to land in the second half of this month (February), meaning that it could be in our hands in less than a week. Yes, we are excited.

You can find all our Windows 8 coverage here.