Adventurous Windows users can now download the Windows 8 Consumer preview from Microsoft's web site using the link provided below. The preview version of the new OS is available for 32-bit and 64-bit PCs, and can be downloaded either in ISO format (for buring to a DVD or converting to a USB stick using the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool) or as a setup file, which Windows Vista and Windows 7 users can use to pull down the OS from the Internet.

If you prefer to explore these things vicariously (there's no shame in it, really), our coverage of new Windows 8 features has been fairly extensive up until now - you can find all of our previous Windows 8 articles by following this link. A more complete, in-depth look at the Consumer Preview is forthcoming, and should be ready at some point next week.

Source: Microsoft

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  • Ryan Smith - Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - link

    Windows 8 is very specifically intended to run on anything that Windows 7 ran on. Which means a 32bit version is necessary.
  • mcnabney - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    Since I don't have a computer with an ARM chip in it, what is the point of this update again?

    Since there is no Mediacenter there is no reason for me to EVER move to 8. In fact, there is a good chance that Win7 will be the last Microsoft platform I will ever own. They shat on me when the updates WHS and it appears they are going to do a repeat on Win8. Ever since Microsoft destroyed PC gaming there are scant reasons to stick with Windows. By the time my Win7 hardware is replaced there will be no need for MS. A PS4, a NAS, and a future generation of the Asus Transformer should be able to meet my computing needs.
  • p05esto - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    This Win8 is by FAR the worst OS I have used in my entire life. I've been messing around with it for hours now and still can't even do basic stuff. Where the HELL is the start menu? Where are the applications, where is the control panel, where are all the abilities to customize that I had in Xp/Vista/7? And how in the world do I get rid of that stupid-as-shit home screen or whatever it's called? I don't want that crap anywhere near my desktop, you've got to F-ing kidding me with this horse crap. MS, you had damn well better be scouring the threads reading posts and user feedback. I'm a developer of 15 years and have been heavily in the MS camp, but if this OS even comes close to being what you release later in the year I'll be looking elsewhere. This current OS is total FUBAR from what I can tell. It's a dumbed down impossible UI that gets in the way of managing files and launching applications....WHICH IS THE ONLY THING AN OS IS SUPPOSED TO DO. Yes, I am yelling!
  • p05esto - Thursday, March 1, 2012 - link

    I clicked on IE from the shitty start screen and it went into this full screen mode that I could NOT get out of. I was stuck in hell. On a 26" monitor who in the world opens up a browers to full screen lol? On a 20" monitor who opens up to full screen? Only newbie idiots, that's who. Apparently MS is making their OS only for toddlers, because I was so fed up after being in that full screen interface that I won't go back into Win8 until that is all GONE. If it doesn't go away, I will never be back. This is just one of the horrible UI changes that will make Win8 go down as the worst OS in history... assuming they don't make MAJOR changes between now and launch. Oh my.

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