There may be an USO for dual-boot Preview testing.
A forum post on MyDigitalLife reveals that not only will Microsoft provide Windows 8.1 Preview as a direct update in Windows Store, but will also provide a downloadable ISO so that customers can burn the update on a bootable DVD or Blu-ray disc. This will allow users to install the preview on a separate partition so that they can choose to load Windows 8 or 8.1 Preview separately.
"Installing from the Store will upgrade the existing Windows 8 OS on that partition to Windows 8.1 Preview," reads Microsoft's Q&A. "You will not be given the opportunity to select another partition, so you would need to already have a dual boot system installed in order to install Windows 8.1 Preview as a dual boot through Windows Store."
Microsoft warns that the Preview build should work with the same devices and programs that work with Windows 8 and Windows RT. However in some cases, the device or program might not work or may require an update. Users may even need to uninstall some programs and then reinstall them after installing the Preview build.
The company also warns that Windows 8 Pro users with Media Center installed can keep Windows Media Center without reinstalling it once users download the Preview through Windows Store. However by using the ISO, Media Center will be removed and must be reinstalled using the original Windows 8 Pro pack or Windows 8 Media Center Pack product key.
"Drivers for basic functionality are available 'in-box'", the company states. "This includes drivers for storage, networking, input and display. These drivers allow you to complete the Windows installation and connect to the Internet. You can get more drivers from Windows Update or from the device manufacturer once you're online."
Should customers simply wait for Windows 8.1 to roll out later this year, or take the Preview plunge on Wednesday? Sorry Microsoft, but it sounds like the latter option will be a real pain for most, especially with all the app install and reinstall going on.