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Microsoft Launches Windows 8 Consumer Preview

David Gilbert

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Microsoft Launches Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Update: Check out our pictures of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview here as well as images and video of Windows 8 being demoed on an 82in screen.

At Mobile World Congress 2012, Microsoft has announced the Consumer Previews of its next-generation operating system Windows 8 and it is available to download now.

The launch follows on from the Developer Preview which launched last December and is a more stable version of the OS, the full version of which is set to launch later this year.

The Consumer Preview will allow those eager to try out the new-look OS to do so ahead of the commercial launch in the second half of 2012, and will allow users to get their first taste of the new Metro-style interface.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

There will be two versions of Windows 8 available in the second half of the year, one which runs on the x86-based chips from the likes of Intel and AMD and one known as Windows on ARM, which will run on the low-power ARM-based chips that power the vast majority of tablets today. However this latter version will not be available as part of the Consumer Preview.

Since the Developer Preview, Microsoft said today that it had made over 100,000 changes in Windows 8 and it now thinks of it as “complete all the way through.” The company called Windows 8 "modern, fast and fluid" and marked it as a lot different than the last time it made a generational change in Windows with Windows 95.

You can download the Consumer Preview now from Microsoft’s website here, with the minimum system requirements as follows:

Processor: 1GHz processor

RAM: 1GB (32-bit) 2GB (64-bit)

Hard Disk Space: 16GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)

Graphic Card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher.

We will be covering the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 in much more detail and bringing you a full preview very soon.

We’d love to hear from you if you are planning on downloading the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 and what you think of the new-look operating system.

Guest

March 2, 2012, 12:22 am

I agree. As a Tablet based OS it would be quite interesting to have a play with. BUT, as a Desktop OS with a Mouse and Keyboard it is dreadful. It is a totally disjointed mess. I can't see one thing in it that would make me want to upgrade from Windows 7. First version of Windows I can say that for - I didn't even mind Vista that much, at least it was a step in the right direction. This......Huge Fail Microsoft! (for a Desktop OS)

Guest

March 2, 2012, 12:24 am

P.S. Trusted Reviews, when are you ever going to sort out the Comment system that is still so broken on this site? M$ can create a whole new OS in the time it is taking you to fix the site ;-)

Probably explains why the volume of comments has virtually dried up now - can't say you weren't warned. Shame really.

Pbryanw

March 2, 2012, 11:29 pm

@Evilpaul - For some reason, the new Metro start screen reminds me a bit of OS X's Launchpad. Currently I've assigned a mouse key to switch between Launchpad and the desktop on OS X. I'm hoping that you'll be able to do this on Windows 8, or maybe Logitech will include some way to switch between the two in a future Setpoint.

Failing that, I've heard of a registry tweak to bring back the old Start Menu in Windows 8, so you could still benefit from the faster boot times, new file explorer and improved copy dialogs in 8, and not have to deal with Metro at all.

@Steve32 - I've read a few comments on this now, and it would be great if you the site would just keep you logged in between visits. That's all I'd ask for. And it does a seem a shame that you only get 1-2 comments on articles and news stories now (if that), whereas before the re-design you might get 5-10.

Pbryanw

March 7, 2012, 3:18 am

Sorry, this should have been a reply to Evilpaul's post. As to getting the start menu back - the registry tweak doesn't work with the Consumer Preview, but The Verge have details on how to bring it back:

http://www.theverge.com/2012/3...

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