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Windows 8 Consumer Preview Now Available for Download

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 73 comments

As promised, Windows 8 Consumer Preview is here.

Windows 8 is finally here... at least, in a public beta sense. During Mobile World Congress 2012, Microsoft launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview on Leap Day, February 29, as promised, offering a working taste of what's to come later this year. The 5 MB beta installer can be downloaded immediately, but demand is making things a bit sluggish, and it's only going to get worse as news begins to circulate, so be patient.

Download links:

Don’t forget the Product Key: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

"Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released," the company warns to adventurous consumers. "Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software. If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC."

Launching alongside the Customer Review is the Windows Store. It provides a variety of new Metro style apps from both third-party developers and Microsoft which consumers can try and experience at no cost. The Windows Store offers personalized recommendations while Windows 8 itself gives users the ability to take their apps and settings with them across multiple PCs.

Also included is Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 5. "The browser has been re-imagined to create a new experience designed specifically for Windows 8 devices," Microsoft reports. "It provides an edge-to-edge user interface that is all about less browser and more Web. Fast and fluid, Internet Explorer is hardware-accelerated to enable Web performance."

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available worldwide for download in English, French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese languages. More information about Windows 8 and how to download the Consumer Preview is available at or

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    afrobacon , February 29, 2012 3:17 PM
    Already have it burned and ready to install as my main and only OS. I can't see how this could go wrong...
  • 12 Hide
    de5_Roy , February 29, 2012 4:57 PM
    in other news, bulldozer users brought out a parade celebrating windows 8's arrival....
Other Comments
  • 6 Hide
    Anonymous , February 29, 2012 3:10 PM
    I can't wait to test the new version of Windows!
  • Display all 73 comments.
  • 23 Hide
    afrobacon , February 29, 2012 3:17 PM
    Already have it burned and ready to install as my main and only OS. I can't see how this could go wrong...
  • -6 Hide
    noblerabbit , February 29, 2012 3:22 PM
    Is this preview (being only 5MB?!) to be installed as an Existing Windows 7 program? Or do I need a blank new HDD to install it, or will it dualboot with Windows 7 Dos Menu?
  • 2 Hide
    rebel1280 , February 29, 2012 3:23 PM
    currently DLing :D  cant freaking wait!!!!!! Holding out for Lumia 900 as well *droool*
  • 2 Hide
    victorious 3930k , February 29, 2012 3:36 PM
    Do we need to update from the Dev preview? I have the Dev, however I want the Windows Store + the development tools!
  • 2 Hide
    DRosencraft , February 29, 2012 3:40 PM
    I will enjoy testing this out in the coming days (after my RMA'd mobo gets processed). I ran the Win7 beta right to the end of that beta period, kicking the hell out those tires. When I bought 7, I knew exactly what I was getting and wasn't disappointed at all. I will do the same with 8 now. If it works, then awesome. If not, then I'll get rid of the beta and I'm not out anything but some time. Fun times. :sol: 
  • 7 Hide
    bigdragon , February 29, 2012 3:41 PM
    I really expected Microsoft to completely ditch Aero in favor of Metro. They did not. There's this weird mixture of the two user interfaces. I don't really like it. Windows 8 seems too tablet-focused. I like Windows 8 about as much as I like Gnome 3, which is to say not at all. Vista didn't give me reasons to upgrade from XP. I don't see 8 giving me reasons to upgrade from 7.

    Why are we determined to unlearn all the things we've previously learned about desktop user interfaces? I really really hate the two-faced UI determined to waste screen real estate as much as possible. I can go on and on about the specific properties of the UI design that get in the way of me being productive. I'm getting the impression it would be easier to sit down in Flash and create a stupid little program to show what Windows 8 should have been. I can't see them making any usability-focused changes between now and final release.

    Try again, Microsoft. You had great ideas, but you didn't implement them the right way.
  • 1 Hide
    rpgplayer , February 29, 2012 3:42 PM
    Wow, nice bandwidth Tom's! rockin 3MB/s.
  • 2 Hide
    ankhnext , February 29, 2012 3:55 PM
    I miss DOS like interface... LOL
  • 2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , February 29, 2012 4:01 PM

    As far as I can see Windows 8 is no more or less productive than Windows 7. I can still launch the exact same applications as I did before and I've even added the shortcuts that were on the desktop to the Metro interface.
  • 6 Hide
    cronik93 , February 29, 2012 4:06 PM
    Do win7 drivers have no problems with Win8?
  • 6 Hide
    derkman , February 29, 2012 4:16 PM
    Having no Start button is going to cause hell for people in IT. End-users will be constantly calling the help desk because they can't find the Start button.
  • 5 Hide
    mcd023 , February 29, 2012 4:18 PM
    making bootable flash drive now.

    cronik93Do win7 drivers have no problems with Win8?

    since they are built off of the same kernel, there shouldn't be any problems. I haven't had any. I was even able to run StarCraft II off of my Win7 partition. Didn't think you could do that :) 
  • 2 Hide
    stevelord , February 29, 2012 4:23 PM
    During the developer preview, I did a clean and drivers were not an issue. To include touchscreen drivers being that this was on an HP 2740p tablet.

    Doing an upgrade this time to see how much of the existing software works.
  • 5 Hide
    mobrocket , February 29, 2012 4:36 PM
    anyone running it with virtualbox?
  • 3 Hide
    memadmax , February 29, 2012 4:45 PM
    What is this OS for????
    Tablet or Desktop?

    The lack of direction in this thing is astounding....
  • 3 Hide
    leeashton , February 29, 2012 4:51 PM
    mobrocketanyone running it with virtualbox?

    downloading and will install it in VB
  • 12 Hide
    de5_Roy , February 29, 2012 4:57 PM
    in other news, bulldozer users brought out a parade celebrating windows 8's arrival....
  • 0 Hide
    mrmike_49 , February 29, 2012 5:21 PM
    Does MS have a Windows 8 forum up yet? Can't find one
  • 0 Hide
    monsta , February 29, 2012 6:26 PM
    I have mixed feelings with Windows 8 , its weird having the two interfaces, guess it might just take some time to get used to or do we have another Vista on our hands?
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