Today marks a turning point in Microsoft’s history. A new operating system. A new interface. A new direction, so to speak.
Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system has just been released for you to try as what is called a “Consumer Preview”. It is a chance for you to install the operating system in a dual boot configuration, in a virtual machine, or directly on a machine you can play on without endangering your daily productivity! I’m downloading my copy now and you should too!
The biggest change will be the new primary (in most cases) user interface named Metro. Microsoft’s goal is to create a user interface that will transcend devices and provide familiarity to the user no matter what Microsoft based device they encounter. Be prepared for different, but please approach this with an open mind. Change is not always bad.
Windows 8 should function well on any computer currently running Windows Vista or Windows 7.
Windows 8 System Requirements are:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher
- To use touch, you need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch
- To access Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
- To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
Downloads are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit as well as English, Chinese, French, German, and Japanese.
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview may be downloaded at Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview site.
Be sure to stop back here and leave a comment with your experiences!
5 thoughts on “Windows 8 Consumer Preview (formerly know as Beta) is Live!”
Dave, I cannot waitto get home and put this on one of my comps. Do you have any suggestions for a program to dual boot windows 8 on a 64-bit windows 7 laptop? I’ve partitioned and dual-booted my Macbook Pro, but I haven’t ever tried with a PC. I was hoping you might have a favorite, free program in mind…
Patrick – As far as I know, Windows 8 will recognize an existing OS and automatically setup dual boot options. So no need for any 3rd party software – see here: http://www.howtogeek.com/74335/how-to-dual-boot-windows-7-and-windows-8/
A cautionary note: There are already problem reports filtering through rgearding dual boot configurations. Mainly from people who decided they didn’t like Windows 8 and wiped it, then were unable to boot back to their original OS. Of course we don’t know the level of expertise involved but I would suggest creating a full system image before proceeding.
I prefer to run other OS’es in a virtual machine. It eliminates the possibility of running into boot problems when you remove the os and generally streamlines the whole process.
My program of choice is VirtualBox – https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads. It’s easy to setup and use.
Jim’s advice regarding creating an image is wise for those who choose to dual boot.
Have only just got around to trying out Win 8 Consumer Preview running on a dual boot with W 7. First impression is yuk!! a waste of space on my hard drive but as it is only the first preview I suppose Iwill wait and see how things develope.
But UI am not holding my breath.
Hey Steven – That’s a pretty common reaction at the moment mate. I wrote months ago that Windows 8 was going to strike problems with traditional desktop users and that has proved to be the case. Windows has always been a desktop OS, that’s what people expect and that’s the way MS should have left it.
Mind you, we are not dealing with the final product, MS still has time to put things right.
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