Windows 8 Release Preview is out, download now

By on May 31, 2012, 2:08 PM

Microsoft accidentally leaked yesterday that Windows 8 Release Preview would become available today and indeed, it's now here, download links are below. Windows 8's development has been considerably more open than on previous releases, we believe in part so Microsoft could introduce and tweak the new Metro interface, which has become the new face of the Windows operating system.

The combination of the new Metro-based Start screen and the traditional desktop has been criticized by many, but at this point it's become apparent there's no turning back. Microsoft is betting heavily on a new paradigm that has the traditional PC and upcoming tablets sharing a common user interface, which also resembles Windows Phone OS’ latest efforts.

We’ll bring you more details on Windows 8 Release Preview changes and new features shortly.

Download: Windows 8 Release Preview 32-bit, 64-bit or Upgrade Assistant

Product Key: TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF

Also available: Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate  |  Windows 8 Driver Kit

Key Features and Changes

  • It delivers new Bing apps, including ones for Travel, News and Sports
  • Improvements to Mail, Photos and People apps since the Consumer Preview
  • Increased personalization options for the Start screen
  • Improved multi-monitor support
  • Refinements to the way people find and download apps through the Windows Store
  • New Family safety features and enriched privacy and security controls when browsing online, including Do Not Track capabilities being turned on by default with Internet Explorer 10
  • Enriched support for touch with Internet Explorer 10, including a new capability with the Release Preview called “flip ahead” that allows users the option to flip between pages with the swipe of a finger, as well as a touch-friendly  Adobe Flash Player now fully integrated into IE10; IE10 is also the first browser to enable Do Not Track “on” by default, giving customers more choice and control over their privacy

Here's a handy list of relevant Windows 8 stories, so you can catch up while you download:




User Comments: 45

Got something to say? Post a comment
treeski treeski said:

Gonna download sometime tonight!

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm gonna be home in 4 weeks, can't wait to see my boys and start playing with this!

psycros psycros said:

<p>I'm gonna be home in 4 weeks, can't wait to see my boys and start playing with this!</p>

That makes sense, because its defiantly nothing but a toy.

Guest said:

[link]

You're welcome.

Guest said:

Product Key?

Guest said:

Found it...

TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF

Ranger1st Ranger1st said:

Yeah awesome!!.. I'm gonna' download and use this right after I raid the CDC and give myself Ebola.

DarKSeeD DarKSeeD said:

DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J - try this one

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

That makes sense, because its defiantly nothing but a toy.

I dunno, have to wait and see. Unless it does something amazing for me I'll pass on it. I'll probably wait and see until the tablets come out and see how they work in sync together. I've found a tablet very useful in school, but my main annoyance is transferring files from Android to Windows. I have many ways of doing it, but none are really that smooth. If MS comes up with anything approaching Apple's ecosystem, I may give one of their tablets a shot.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

I'll probably keep one system on Win7 and change the second to Win8 if MS offer a discount for pre-order (as per Win7). Then I get shot of an older system and add some value by bundling the Win7 with it.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Is it just me or is this the ugliest of windows? They took a cellphone OS and expanded it to look like a desktop, this has fail written all over it... maybe it's just me and people not tech enough will end up loving it for being so simple... maybe it's just me.

p51d007 said:

I see no new "features" that would compel me to update to Win8. Unless you have a touch screen, the new UI, to me, is butt ugly. Win7 works perfect.

Guest said:

"I see no new "features" that would compel me to update to Win8"

Google/Bing is your friend:

[link]

"maybe it's just me and people not tech enough will end up loving it for being so simple... maybe it's just me."

Well me and my kids think it's cool. Are you having problems learning to use it? I can send my kids over to teach you? They're both under 10. They learned that once you stay under classic desktop, metro doesn't come up UNLESS YOU WANT IT TO.

In that case you can hover over the lower left corner and click it, or even easier, click the "windows" key once to bring up metro, one more time to recede it.

Maybe this tune will help you, my kids learned it. To the the tune of the kid's song "it's a small world"

chorus:

If you want start, click the key!

if you want start, click the key!

if you want start, click the key!

click the key to bring up start!

La La La La, La La La!

Guest said:

Can one of you simpletons out there who think tablets are the craze explain to me why I would want to download and install this? I have no interest in sitting 12" away from my 21.5" monitor for hours at a time just so I can swipe the screen like a chimpanzee would do. One thing is for sure. Windows 8 should increase the demand for alcohol wipes to constantly clean the fingerprints off the screen.

Can somebody say "PASS!". Or should I say "FAIL!".

Microsoft, get your head out of your XXX and realize that you cannot develop a single OS for all devices.You lazy programmers. Shame on you.

Let the people speak as they did with Vista. DO NOT install and use this native tablet OS on your desktop. Wait for Windows 9. I am.

Guest said:

The writing is on the wall for Ballmer's scalp. One-size-fits-all does not work for hardware across computing and mobile segments, so why should it for the Operating System? Because Apple is making an equally poor attempt at IOS-izing OSX too? Microsofties can hate on the haters all they like, but time will prove whether Metro is a productivity killer for those who need to work rather than just play.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well me and my kids think it's cool. Are you having problems learning to use it? I can send my kids over to teach you? They're both under 10. They learned that once you stay under classic desktop, metro doesn't come up UNLESS YOU WANT IT TO

I kind of said that maybe people not techie enough would love it for being so simple, if you have no idea how to read you might ask one of your under 10 kids to teach you some reading comprehension.

EDIT: And letting you know that typing in caps is considered rude... just saying.

Guest said:

Can anyone recommend some cheap tablet hardware to try this on ?

VitalyT VitalyT said:

I have just installed it, my first experiment with Windows 8. So far I love it. I don't understand why people were complaining about switching between Metro and Desktop modes - it seems so easy to me, very intuitive. You either press Windows button, or use left-bottom corner of the window.

I didn't need to read anything to discover everything very quickly myself.

Guest said:

My quick review is they have added a few tweaks however they are still keeping the Metro interface. Metro is a deal breaker, I will either stay on Windows 7 and/or go to Linux (Ubuntu 12.04, Mint 13, etc).

m4a4 m4a4 said:

I love how some people think that it is either Windows 8 or not Windows... -_-

Guest said:

For those of you who must have the start button, you can install this open source freeware which will bring start menu back (works with windows 8)

"classic start menu for windows 8"

When you reboot it will still bring up metro, but hit the windows key or click "desktop" tile, and once you're in classic shell, you pretty much stay there with access to the start menu.

It won't remove metro hot corners (so you still have compatibility with metro task manager and such). But you will have an even better version of the old start menu. Check out the classic shells options, there's a ton.

Again myself I've moved beyond the start button, but this freeware makes it great for people used to one paradigm.

Hope this helps,

KG363 KG363 said:

Using the 'Upgrade Assistant", the only option I have for what to keep is "nothing". I have the consumer preview installed, but why can't I keep my stuff if I want to upgrade?

Guest said:

Windows 8 is pointless, it's just an overgrown mobile OS, not as good as 2000, XP, 7, or (for pity's sake!) Vista.

Doctor John Doctor John said:

I'm inclined to agree with the general vibe here - I can't work out what it's for; OS for a giant's smartphone? A skin for people who hate the look of Windows 7, but want the same basic functionality?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Windows 8 is pointless, it's just an overgrown mobile OS, not as good as 2000, XP, 7, or (for pity's sake!) Vista.

That is simply not true. Processor and memory usage are improved. But it is easy to make simple statements hiding behind a guest account.

Guest said:

Hey SNGX1275! Is that official TechSpot policy about guests - are non-members unwelcome? Are their opinions automatically less intelligent or valid? Oh sorry, perhaps I shouldn't say anything until I join up?

Guest said:

All I really want to know Is what real feature's (the metro UI doesn't count) does Win 8 have that make It better than Win 7 or XP??

I understand I'm probably not going to find out until we get closer to the release date but, has anyone found any Improvement's yet of what Win 8 does better??

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Hey SNGX1275! Is that official TechSpot policy about guests - are non-members unwelcome? Are their opinions automatically less intelligent or valid? Oh sorry, perhaps I shouldn't say anything until I join up?

No, that isn't true, but what is true is Guests are far more likely to post controversial comments without backing them up because they can do so anonymously.

Guest said:

SNGX... Is that your name? Or is it an anonomyzing monacre? Hypocrisy at is finest

sapo joe said:

<p>Windows 8 is pointless, it's just an overgrown mobile OS, not as good as 2000, XP, 7, or (for pity's sake!) Vista.</p>

Even with the good kernel level improvements of windows 8, I have to agree.

If there's not an option to disable Metro, I'll stick to Windows7 x64 until I can. I believe Windows7 will have a lifespan longer than windows XP because of this.

sapo joe said:

<p>I love how some people think that it is either Windows 8 or not Windows... -_-</p>

True... Windows 7 is a very good OS, and for years will still be better supported than most OSes out there.

avoidz avoidz said:

<p>Product Key?</p>

Do I need a product key to install Windows 8 Release Preview?

If you install Windows 8 Release Preview using the Windows 8 Release Preview Setup program, you won't need to enter a product key---the setup program automatically provides the product key. If you create installation media, start your PC from the media, and then install Windows 8 Release Preview, you'll need to enter this product key: TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF.

- http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/faq

Guest said:

I've only just installed W7 . when will this OS madness stop?

They took away your media centre too, so they can charge extra for it, and also pay no licence fees. All to make it cheaper for the EndUser <not>!. I wonder how little they could charge for it and still be in profit ? £10 ($15) ?? Thats about how much Dell and HP pay, and big companys.

Guest said:

it's not just you Kibaruk....this seems to Win7 as Win ME seemed to 98 back in the day...

whiteandnerdy said:

I'm not even going to download this. I love the desktop set up and this overgrown mobile OS looks like it's gonna fall flat on its face

m4a4 m4a4 said:

SNGX1275 ignore the troll cowering behind anonymity. If he really wanted his opinion to mean anything to you, he would sign up...

Guest said:

For a tech site comment section, it's pretty pathetic that a lot of you fail to see past the Metro UI. Is it a reason not to buy it? Sure, it's up to you, but I have yet to read a comment about how someone wants to take advantage of the many other features and optimizations that go beyond the UI.

And for the guy saying people using guest accounts are "hiding", I could say the same to anyone not using their real name.

Guest said:

"Windows 8 is pointless, it's just an overgrown mobile OS"

I think you miss the point of windows 8, which is to offer the best of both worlds (mobile OS +PC OS).

For example I have an iPad, but many times I need to something "more" on the thing, but then I have to switch over to my PC. Now with Windows 8 you can do both, casual and more power user stuff. Now for desktop users, the start button just requires you to hover to the hot corner.

Only when you press the hot corner does metro come up. So you can be in classic desktop the whole time if you want, especially if you pin apps on your taskbar. Metro is a combination global start menu + mobile touch menu. I use it as a pseudo desktop to pin my folders and apps, leaving my classic desktop uncluttered. Before that I had a ton of app/folder shortcuts on my desktop.

Besides metro, there's a ton of under the hood improvements. Whether you "need" windows 8 is entirely up to you. But for me, the under the hood improvements and fast boot time is critical for me. This is the same argument from XP to Windows 7, if you don't have a need for the improvements, you don't really need to change. But for some of us, we live for this stuff. The only constant in IT and technology is change. Who knows, 10yrs from now, this same argument will repeat when we move on from metro to something else, then people will complain about THAT too. You know how it is:D

Guest said:

Windows 8 rocks! BTW Gotta love every time there's a change in the OS (no matter what OS)

Here's some golden comments when we moved from Win98 to XP circa 2001 via cnet's review of "XP"

XP "review" quotes from CNET:

"The new GUI is a headache and lacks any originality. It looks as if Microsoft is trying to show how artistic it can get only to fail as it did with its Windows technology. I would rather switch back to the classic Windows 2000 GUI"

"I've been using XP for a few days now after using Win 98se for around 5 years, and I'm still not sure if I'll keep it on my system"

"Why would anyone with Windows ME, 2000, etc. consider upgrading. Me and 100% of friends are tired of that carrot saying life will be better ... even thought I've shelled out hundreds for upgrades, etc. I think the PC market is seeing a slowdown because they don't need a 1.X Ghz machine, as their XX Mhz is fine. Same thing with my Operating System. I won't upgrade until 'forced' to which shouldn't have to happen for a few years yet!! "

" Bloated, bloated, bloated... Instead of trying to be everything to everybody, why can't Microsoft just create a fast OS that works with the millions of non-Microsoft programs already out there? It also amazes me that, in a society that is becoming more computer-literate every day, Microsoft continues to dummy-down their products to the point much of the functionality becomes obtrusive and counter-productive. "

"I would urge you to buy windows 2000 while you still can, it has all the good parts of XP minus the bloat. "

"No serious gamer should upgrade to XP it is not good with games. Windows 98 SE is still the best OS for games and will always be no matter how old it becomes"

ROFL!

Man these people need to read "who moved my cheese". Can you imagine if you shown them their own reviews/comments 10yrs later?

Guest said:

What do they mean by "media not available"? Can't install windows 8 because media is not available. Why?

Guest said:

@guest,

you think moving from win98 to XP was a blast, you should see XP to & reviews:

windows 7 reviews

choice comments about windows 7:

"Incompatible with all your software. Convoluted. Hides your files from you. Slows your PC to a standstill. Crashes. Completely unrecognizable from 95/98/ME/2000/NT and XP"

"Interface, the fact that any Mac user can see the attempts at copying that Windows attempts with every update to it's operating systems"

" the setup needs to be more like xp, and word 2007 needs to be more like word 2003 "

"I do not like anything about this product. It is trying to give an Apple appearance, but without the functionality. "

" It looks as if it thinks I want my computer as a plaything. XP was fast, neat, logical, easy to use; I've been working on this for several weeks and I still hate it. it does what \I don't want and can't do what I do want; How can I get XP back!"

WOW.

So now we have Microsoft come up with a redesigned GUI that doesn't look anywhere near OSX, and the users STILL complain.

WOW.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Glad a couple of you guys pointed out the responses people have to now 'solid' OSes. Many people complain anytime something changes, then they actually change and suddenly are silent. Then they sing praises for the old OS when a one comes out. Happens every time. Too bad when XP came out that TS was on Jawbreaker and we lost everything moving to vbullitin - because I'm sure some of the people that complained about Vista/7's appearance/usage were the same that complained about XP when they were using 98.

Thing is, people will hate 8, but 9 will come out and it will contain the same core as 8, with some updates and people will love it.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@SNGX

Generally 'ordinary folks (and in this case users)' are averse to change. They will rather do nothing and have status quo then make all the complaints about how miserable things have become.

Now that out of they way, after using W8CP for months (am installing RP right now) I never disliked Metro, it is just different. I think with simple addition of 'Start' button MS will probably avoid alienating much of the crowd out there so that is one change which they should make IMHO.

Secondly, MS is making the right choice by trying to 'integrate' platforms enabling developers to produce software for them more easily (remember IE integration in OS? now everyone is doing it). Radical changes do carry immense risk with them, but by being bold about making the right calls, one can still come out on top at the end of day.

Marnomancer Marnomancer said:

Glad a couple of you guys pointed out the responses people have to now 'solid' OSes. Many people complain anytime something changes, then they actually change and suddenly are silent. Then they sing praises for the old OS when a one comes out. Happens every time. Too bad when XP came out that TS was on Jawbreaker and we lost everything moving to vbullitin - because I'm sure some of the people that complained about Vista/7's appearance/usage were the same that complained about XP when they were using 98.

Thing is, people will hate 8, but 9 will come out and it will contain the same core as 8, with some updates and people will love it.

Exactly! The good-OSes-skipping-a-generation trend is setting in hard, and is unlikely to be purged so easily. Actually I wouldn't have dislike Metro hadn't my Linux had that little "accident".

Appzalien said:

Windows 8 is a stroke of genius. Now all the XP hold outs waiting for Windows 8 to be the new XP2, will throw up their hands in defeat and buy Windows 7. Oh those geniuses at Microsoft really know how to manipulate the masses. Either that or push everyone over to Linux. Cell phones are Big Brothers way of tracking everyone and tablets are no better. Throw away your cell phones for security reasons, and send your tablets to the poor in Africa. Wise up people, the Governments are on the move.

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