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Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview Available for Download

At MWC today Microsoft is showing off the latest updates to Windows 8 since the Developer Preview. The company is now offering a Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and says that there have been over 100,000 changes since the dev preview. You can find the Windows 8 Consumer Preview download right here.

Microsoft hopes that Windows 8 will be able to bridge the gap between desktop, laptop, and tablet computers. Personally, I would have liked to see Microsoft scaled Windows Phone 7 up rather than Windows 8 down to fit onto tablets. I’ve experienced Windows 7 on a slate (keyboardless/mouseless tablet), and have to say that it is far less than an optimal experience; this might be Microsoft’s last chance to try to capture part of the tablet market before giving up with the ‘one OS fits all’ strategy.

The Windows 8 Consumer preview is available in five languages (English, German, Chinese (simplified), French, and Japanese). It’s also available in 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) flavors which are 2.5GB and 3.3GB respectively and offered as ISO files. There’s also a ‘Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup’ download which will check to see if your hardware will run Windows 8, select the right version of the Consumer Preview for you, and assist in creating Windows 8 bootable flash drive for easy instillation.

System Requirements for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows 8 Consumer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 7:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher
  • To use touch, you need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch
  • To access Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768

We’ll have more for you once we have a chance to test drive the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for ourselves. Stay tuned!

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