Windows 8 Consumer Preview download now available

By on February 29, 2012, 8:52 AM

For those of you either skeptical or eager to check out what's been cooking at Microsoft these past few months since the developer preview was made available, the long awaited day has finally come.

Before going into detail of what's new and included, here are the download links:

You will need a product key upon installation to activate the Consumer Preview, for the English version this will do: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Microsoft decided not to label this preview as a beta as in previous versions. Beyond a simple denomination, we believe Microsoft is trying to convey this is already a stable operating system built on top of the strong foundation established by Windows 7. Having that said, from a usability and visual standpoint, Windows 8 carries the most radical changes we've seen in the OS in over a decade.

In pure Apple-style marketing, Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows Division, announced today during a MWC presentation that the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 has over 100,000 changes since the Developer Preview released last year.

Key features and additions in the Consumer Preview include the Metro-style dashboard (the new Start screen for Windows), Internet Explorer 10 and other wide range of Metro-style apps that include Mail, Photos, Video, People, Xbox Live, Messaging, among others. The Windows software store is fully functional in the Consumer Preview, Skydrive cloud storage integration, and Windows Explorer enhancements that we had detailed in the past, including the introduction of a ribbon interface, better support for multiple monitors, and the list goes on.

Windows 8 is meant to be a tablet-ready operating system, with a myriad of features dedicated to touch input (zooming, turning, pinching, etc.), however a very small percentage of users downloading and using it today will be paying attention to such. Tablet hardware optimized to run Windows 8 is not expected until later this year.

Even though this is not a final release, Microsoft is already touting speed improvements and optimizations that are part of the Windows 8 upgrade. System requirements are the same as in Windows 7, but the software giant seems confident to say Windows 8 will provide better performance and reliability, quicker startup times and improved battery life.

Other tools also available today:




User Comments: 61

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Downloading Win 8 CP w/Apps x64 from MSDN. Having trouble download Win 8 Server beta, will try later.

Guest said:

Pass. Used it, Hate it, Skip It. The death of Microsoft has officially begun.

Chazz said:

I'll check this out once I get out of work. I'm very interested in Windows 8, mostly for tablets but as well for my desktop.

Guest said:

Even if Windows 8 is a complete failure, it would not be the death of Microsoft. It's not like they have never had an OS fail before.

Windows 95 full of problems

Windows 95B stable / great OS

Windows 98 full of problems

Windows 98SE stable / great OS

Windows ME complete failure

Windows XP stable / great OS

Windows Vista complete failure (in the beginning)

Windows 7 stable / great OS

Windows 8 we'll have to wait to see

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Even if Windows 8 is a complete failure, it would not be the death of Microsoft. It's not like they have never had an OS fail before.

Windows 95 full of problems

Windows 95B stable / great OS

Windows 98 full of problems

Windows 98SE stable / great OS

Windows ME complete failure

Windows XP stable / great OS

Windows Vista complete failure (in the beginning)

Windows 7 stable / great OS

Windows 8 we'll have to wait to see

As many others have already said, Microsoft has a trend going on. Good, bad, Good, bad .. etc..

So W8 will be a "fail" for at least the Desktop market. So W9 should be good ^^ To the second guest posting, you are funny one, but not funny enough ''Death to Microsoft''? Orly?

Puiu Puiu said:

just finished downloading and burning. next is doing backup of win7 and installing win8cp. hopefully everything will be ok in the end.

Guest said:

I missed the word "not" for some reason. Unfortunately being a guest I cannot edit my posts, I did however post below saying "would not***". ;p

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I really want to try this, but not until I see some Consumer Preview reviews. Can we expect one from Techspot?

BreakTheSilence BreakTheSilence said:

Can you " upgrade" from Dev preview to Consumer preview? Or do you have to do a clean install?

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Can't I install without actually burning the ISO onto a disc? Id prefer installation from Desktop ... I took my Optical Drive out some time ago, considering its pretty much just dead weight, these days everything I do is digitally.

Still downloading 44 minutes, 2.1GB out of 3.3GB @ arund 400kB/s-600kB/s (30mb connection 3.6MB/s).

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Artix, this should let you install from USB - [link]

captainawesome captainawesome said:

as anyone tried it?

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Everyone should at least try it. They announced they've made around 100,000 changes since the Developer Preview.

Night Hacker Night Hacker said:

I'll be interesting in seeing what others think about this. I am almost tempted to try it out myself, but I like Windows 7, I am a desktop user so the whole metro thing makes me apprehensive about trying this out. It would be okay if I could install it along side Windows 7, but everything is running smoothly at the moment, the only thing I would like to see is a fix to the horribly slow xfer speeds between CD/DVDs and my hard drive.

Guest said:

Looking for gaming performance benchmarks by TechSpot! Please! Please! :D

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

@breakthesilence, it's not possible to upgrade from the dev preview to the consumer preview. I understand you can upgrade from a Windows 7 install however.

@Guest, gaming performance *should* be identical to Windows 7, provided Nvidia nor AMD screw up on the drivers front, which I assume they won't since not much has changed on that regard.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I looked at 4 or 5 Preview Reviews and they are pretty positive. It has bugs and features missing (what Preview/Beta doesn't?), but overall the conclusions for each are good. If the Windows 7 public beta is anything to go by, Microsoft should be absorbing consumer feedback (is there a feedback button throughout this W8 Preview like W7 PB had?), and making changes. I'm still excited to try this.

Guest said:

Yes and it works.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

breakthesilence said:

Can you " upgrade" from Dev preview to Consumer preview? Or do you have to do a clean install?

Upgrading and Clean Installing

For those of you who have already been running the Windows 8 Developer Preview, you can install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview using the migrate option (just keep personal files), but not the upgrade option (keep personal files, apps, and settings). Or if you prefer, you can of course do a clean installation (keep nothing). The Consumer Preview release does permit upgrading from Windows 7, and will run the integrated upgrade advisor to check on any things you might need to look into. Please keep in mind that there is no rollback after an upgrade installation. We also strongly recommend that you perform a system backup prior to an upgrade, migrate, or clean install of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Also note that the final release of Windows 8 will not support upgrading from any prior Windows 8 "Preview" release, though the migrate option will still be supported. In any upgrade scenario, you can run the Disk Cleanup Wizard to remove the previous installation in order to free up disk space. The download will also support boot from USB for a completely clean installation as well.

Guest said:

Appears to run on VMware Player 4.01

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

SNGX1275 said:

Artix, this should let you install from USB - [link]

Thank you very much ^^

So it finished downloading and I am running the installation from Desktop with Daemon tools. Regardless iv got my USB that I need to put this onto ^^

I hope Microsoft gets licenses in near future for more fonts, its pathetic that Apple bothered to License Helvetica, Century Gothic and other Typefaces .... shame on Microsoft.

rvnwlfdroid said:

I?m all for trying out a new OS but this is the generation for big problems. I think I?ll go the route of setting up a virtual machine and play around with it a bit. Then decide if it?s worth the effort. In the past I?ve not had the virtual machine option. I?m seeing may benefits to using them.

Guest said:

wow windows 8 is so damn slow it aint even funny ... While my pc aint a time machine it should not be that slow. Takes me like 30minutes to get it all working and then anything that id like to load just takes way too long. I guess its a corrupt installation or maybe HDD failing, but W7 was fine. Whats more, i cant ****ing boot to windows 7 because this BS aint giving me the option to select which OS i can boot from....

fing nightmare .... BS ... w8 ... no thanks

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Got it installed on a Pentium 4 2.4Ghz with HT and 1 GB of RAM.

WEI Scores:

Processor: 3.4

RAM: 4.4

Graphics: 2.1

Gaming Graphics: 2.7

Primary Hard Disk: 5.3

Seems usable. Certainly not a speed demon, little surprised the RAM and HD scored so high because it seems when there is a noticeable amount of lag it is when the HD is churning away pretty hard. Suppose thats just the lack of RAM. But I'm not going to be upgrading the RAM in this thing anyway (old ram is way too expensive)

Was disappointed on first boot that neither the graphics card (nvidia 6200) nor the audio (some c-media chipset) were not auto detected. So on boot I had 2 resolutions to choose from and no audio. Fortunately this machine also boots into PC-BSD and Windows 7, so I was able to go to the other hard drive and get the nvidia drivers from <Win7Drive>:\nvidia and then I told Device Manager to look in <Win7Drive>:\Windows\system32 to find the audio driver. So I have decent video and sound now.

I moved the pagefile to the other physical hard drive and set its min and max size to be the same. That should help a bit with the disk churning and responsiveness. Since it won't be read writing information to the same drive its read writing swap memory on.

Guest said:

''Can I uninstall Windows 8 Consumer Preview?

No. To go back to your previous version of Windows, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.''

****ING OWNED ... biggest bullshit ever. So now I cant get on W7 since i dont have the disc version and windows 8 wont even load without freezing for 1hr .... so bad

Guest said:

Well I have it installed here on a DELL Latiitude D620 (Intel Centrino Duo G1, 2GB RAM, 80GB Hard Drive and Intel graphics) and it runs great. What are the specs of your machine? Please do not say some single core Celeron or Sempron from 2003 w/ 512MB of RAM.

Guest said:

amd 555 be @ 4Ghz, 4GB RAM, gtx 460 1GB, undid OCs and same ****... Its Attempting Repairs ... if this fails im ****ed ..... will have to format to XP then again to W7 .... or I can try and download my W7 on here and then use USB boot up installation ....

Guest said:

Will the w8 cp work on Microsoft Virtual pc 2007?

Guest said:

It will work better as a phone OS.

Guest said:

4gb ram, 555 be at 4ghz, gtx460 ... it failed repair ... will be trying another auto repair then try to bootup and use the CDBSD or w/e to change the bootloader to W7

Guest said:

Pass unless you can switch back to the OLD UI.

The "metro" interface is silly. Plus, as other have

said, the "every other OS" that MS releases, since the

win 3.0 days has been crap.

Guest said:

You guys missed Windows 2000 from your list, which was a good, stable OS and interrupts you pattern theory, but I get the point.

Lionvibez said:

Guest said:

''Can I uninstall Windows 8 Consumer Preview?

No. To go back to your previous version of Windows, you'll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC.''

****ING OWNED ... biggest bullshit ever. So now I cant get on W7 since i dont have the disc version and windows 8 wont even load without freezing for 1hr .... so bad

Maybe you shouldn't be installing a preview OS on your main computer just a thought!

Butch said:

Played with Win8 today. Installed on a VM VirtuaBox. I must say that I do not like it at all. I can see this being OK on a tablet but not on my desktop. If M$ does not allow us to completely turn off the Metro crap I will be passing and sticking with Win7. I don't not need a touchscreen optimized OS on my desktop.

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

running it virtually... it's not bad, very tablet oriented though

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

For discussion on experiences and questions about customizing it (like making it more desktop friendly) I've created a stickied thread in the forums: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic178167.html

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm waiting to see benchmarks with the new Radeon driver. I wonder if there's any change. (Not that I expect a big one.)

Guest said:

Maybe they can add a warning in red for future reference. This preview was not aimed at enthusiast they should of kept that in mind that non tech savy people wont know what this will do to their machine.

Yep I know, who would of thought right?

*shakes head*

Guest said:

Running it off of VirtualBox, x64 bit, 20GB Storage, 2048 MB Base Memory. OS itself is great, of course its still Beta status and theres a few kinks to work out.

FOR ME-Messenger often does not work correctly, App Store also works few and far between.

Great Idea behind the OS, both a Desktop and an (App based like Xbox 360 Dash) innovative start menu.

I cant wait for the day when there are thousands of apps for this OS.

Definitely buying, in my opinion its better than 7 hands down.

Only downside, I have yet to find a way to close apps easily aside from Alt+F4 and Ctrl+W

Guest said:

Top close a metro app left click and hold the top middle of the app/screen and drag it to the bottom as if u are dragging an icon into a folder/trash bin.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Compatibility Center for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

[link]

Guest said:

Having no luck downloading the preview (32bit). The download just won't proceed. Is Microsoft overloaded?

rvnwlfdroid said:

Well after playing with Windows 8 for a bit. I will agree with what several others have said. It looks like it would be good for a tablet or phone format. It would take a while to get use to the new look/feel as a daily driver. I do very little social networking aside from e-mail. That?s the feel I get from it, they are gearing it more towards the social networking crowd. The desktop looks about the same other than missing the start button. Once on the desktop most things looked about the same as Win 7. There would be a learning curve to be comfortable with where everything is located again. Aside from that I don?t think it would prevent me from giving the Full release a try one day, provided when it is released, Windows 8 will break Microsoft?s every other OS being poopy curse.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Having no luck downloading the preview (32bit). The download just won't proceed. Is Microsoft overloaded?

Have you tried their link for the ISO rather than their akami or whatever download? Conversely if you tried the ISO have you tried their other way?

SalaSSin said:

Already installed in our enterprise environment (i'm a network admin), and working as a charm.

Ok, some stuff is still unpolished, Metro isn't very useful for enterprise laptops, but improved copy dialog, task manager are some of the things I was really waiting for!

Guest said:

I can't see us getting Windows 8.

We bought a Touchscreen monitor for Windows 7 but find it too annoying to use as it involves reaching out over your desk! WE don't own a touch/smart phone or a tablet and never will.

We don't like the Metro flat look at all, we prefer out icons and everything to have a nice colourful 3D look.

We have no use for Social Networking of any kind. None! That's right we don't use Facebook, Twitter, et al.

We use Firefox/Thunderbird not IE/Outlook. We mainly use out PC for running web browsing, Word typing, DrawPlus Vector drawing, PhotoPlus & PSP pho work, 3D Studio Max, AutoCAD, Songbird and other powerful programs. Also for playing FPS games and Simulation games. We have no use for gimmicky Apps, like weather apps, etc. We use our PC for several hours a day and we push it hard.

We are happy with our level of security, we use Avira, Comodo Firewall and no cloud services at all.

It seems to us that Windows 8 has nothing new for us, and if anything is less suitable to our needs!

Bobbye Bobbye, Helper on the Fringe, said:

After reading this, I think I'll pass on this one:

March 01, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: 'Windows Frankenstein'

[link]

Good grief! They too away the Start button!!

Guest said:

Not more "upgrades" please as at this rate I'll be going over to Linux. Frequently when an OS is "upgraded" new printer drivers are required. The less ethical printer manufacturers then refuse to supply new drivers unless the printer is still current and on sale. (for example I have a laser printer - a good one - which is now dead in the water for a lack of modern drivers) In most spheres of commerce these "Spanish Practices" would be regarded as theft, but because computers are involved this somehow seems to make it OK. I have read about the parties that are held when the plug is pulled on older versions of software and basically these party-goers are celebrating the fact that they are now going to be able to screw yet more money out of the hapless punter. It sucks.

Guest said:

I think I invented a new game to play with these comments.

I call it: "Spot The Mac Fanboys"

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