For many months now, we've been treated to rumors, sneak peeks, demos and frequent news updates on the next version of Windows. While all these are welcome, we'd want to get our hands on the real deal A-SAP. The good news is, Microsoft is bringing us a step closer to that by releasing its Windows 8 Consumer Preview for everyone. Yep, you can download and try out a pre-release version of Windows 7's successor right now, free of charge. Color us excited!
We've already discussed the many features Windows 8 is expected to have so we'll go straight to the deets of the download process. Let us warn you though that the Consumer Preview (fancy label for beta) is a pretty hefty download. The 32-bit version comes in at 2.5GB while the 64-bit preview is about 3.3GB. Now, let's take a look at Windows 8's minimum system requirements:
- CPU: 1GHz or faster
- RAM: 1GB (32-bit), 2GB (64-bit)
- Hard disk space: 16GB (32-bit), 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics: Microsoft DirectX 9 compatible graphics WDDM 1.0 or higher
- Display: At least 1024 x 768 resolution
For the download process, you can choose between two routs: Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup or Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO. For the former, you'll download a 5MB setup file that will check your rig if it can run the beta and choose which version is best for your system. After that, it will begin downloading the Consumer Preview. For the ISO option, you'll download an ISO image file which you can then burn on a DVD and run on compatible PCs. Sounds easy enough? We recommend reading up on FAQs first before hitting the download link.
Click here for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup
Click here to download the ISO images
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