Just as expected, Microsoft released its Windows 8 Consumer Preview into the wild. It's available, now, so what are you waiting for, go download it now, chop, chop!
We haven't dived into the entire Windows 8 Consumer build ourselves, yet, but we're working on it. Microsoft's server seems to be taking a bit of a beating with the influx of downloaders rushing to grab their preview copy, so you might be seeing some slower downloads than usual (2.5GB for the 32-bit and 3.3GB for the 64-bit versions).
English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German and Japanese downloads can be had here. Instructions on how to install the ISO image to a DVD or a USB are also provided at Microsoft's website.
But, before you do that, you should probably check to make sure your computer is compatible with Windows 8. Here's the minimum specs required to install and run it:
- 1GHz or faster processor
- 1GB of RAM (32-bit) or 2GB of RAM (64-bit)
- 16GB of free storage (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 or higher
Other requirements include a tablet or display that supports multitouch (if you want to get all touchy), a screen resolution of at least 1024x768 to run Windows Store and its apps and a resolution of at least 1366x768 to snap apps side-by-side.
Once we have our copy up and running and we've poked it around enough to be sure we either love or hate the new UI, we'll get back to you.
Free To Fly
If you're not interested in Windows 8, Microsoft dropped another bonus yesterday: Microsoft Flight, a free-to-play flight simulator that lets you take control of a variety of airplanes and fly over exotic locales. It isn't as significant as Windows 8, but Microsoft Flight's fan base is considered to have some relatively hardcore players. You can grab Microsoft Flight here. If you're wondering, it supports an Xbox 360 controller as well as a keyboard.