Windows 8 Public "Consumer Preview" Beta is Live
February 29, 2012 9:21 AM
Meet the Windows of the future
[UPDATE 1 ] Tues. 2/29/2012 10:03 a.m.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview (a beta build) is now officially live on Microsoft's servers, so get ready for the rush.
Travel here to get it
Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky
at the unveil event stated, "We are really excited to be here. This is a day that's been long in coming for the Windows team. I just got a picture of the operations center where they're getting ready for the downloads. They've been up since 3 AM."
Let's hope they're ready -- in
2009 a similar beta of Windows 7
saw so much demand that it
crashed Microsoft's servers
. It was all for a good cause, though -- the beta process
found and fixed 2,000 bugs
in Windows 7 and proved a key part of its
record-smashing commercial success
. Microsoft hopes to recapture that success with Windows 8.
If you download it and try it, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you think.
A crucial step in the road towards the launch of Microsoft Corp.'s (
) next commercial personal computer operating system is set to be taken in just minutes or perhaps hours from now. Microsoft will unveil a public beta of Windows 8 to the world. It is pitching the beta both to consumers and to businesses, who might not have jumped onboard the earlier MSDN/TechNet preview builds.
The new OS brings a slew of improvements including
a developer-friendly 20-80 Microsoft-developer split
for high-grossing apps,
less painful Windows Update process
decreased OS resource consumption
improved file transfers
streamlined upgrade process
for the initial installation, and switching to a primarily online sales distribution model.
Like Apple, Inc.'s (
forthcoming Mountain Lion
, Microsoft is pushing hard to "appify" traditional programs, bringing them in line with smartphone apps in terms of app store distribution, icons, and interfaces. Microsoft is also pushing its SkyDrive -- its cloud storage scheme.
A slew of Metro Ui apps in Windows 8 [Image Source: The Verge]
The new Windows 8 beta is being launched in Barcelona, Spain, at a
2012 Mobile World Congress
event. The location is appropriate given that Microsoft's new operating system
heavily focuses on tablets
, for the first time.
Ahead of the launch, some of the built in wallpapers have
, an Italian website. You can grab the 23.6 MB package from
(Click to enlarge)
The entire Windows 8 download (X64) is expected to be a bit under 3 GB.
Update: The X64 download is 3.3 GB for the English version, while the 32-bit version is 2.5 GB.
Microsoft has published
[PDF] for business. It suggests how business can put Windows 8 on a USB stick for quick and painless managed boots at remote locations. Given current USB stick capacities have
reached 128 GB
, it shouldn't be hard to squeeze a managed copy of Windows 8 on there, space-wise.
Microsoft's business guide also brags about SmartScreen Application Reputation, a feature that screens downloads. When you go to open a download, if it is a suspect file type and not from a trusted source a warning is given suggesting the user to abort.
The new OS should go live shortly, we will post a link when it does.
Remember, you can install the new operating system as a fully bootable operating system on a single-boot or multi-boot configuration, or more convenient pop it in a virtual machine like VMWare, Inc.'s (
) VMWare Workstation.
"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer
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