Windows 8 Consumer Preview Goes Live

Brad Chacos

The slow, relentless trek towards the release of Windows 8 continues. The Developer Preview released several months back was nifty, but a bit rough around the edges -- as you would expect from an early build created for development use. Now, after months of rumors, tidbits and news about features that weren't included in the Developer Preview , you'll finally get a chance to try many of them out for yourself. Today, Microsoft unveiled the more polished and user friendly Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Here are links to the standard Windows 8 Consumer Preview setup files and another page that offers Windows 8 CP ISO images . The images are fairly big -- 2.5GB for the 32-bit version and 3.3GB for the 64-bit version -- so expect to be downloading for a while if you have a slower connection.  The hardware requirements are as lax as Windows 7's. From the big ol' FAQ Microsoft released for the Consumer Preview :

  • 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 a monitor that supports multitouch.
  • To access the 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 .

We haven't had a chance to play around with the Consumer Preview too much yet (stupid work!) but hey, let's make this a group effort: if you go hands-on with the latest flavor of Windows 8, share your impressions with your fellow geeks in the comments below.

Around the web