Available since February 29, Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available for download, free of charge, for everyone, and in English! So don't wait to install it, discover the new features, the future of Windows before everyone!
Video presentation of Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview
To download Windows 8 Consumer Preview version, free of charge and in English, click on one of the two links below (32 or 64 bits):
And here is the product key that will be needed for the OS installation:
- Processor : 1 GHz or more
- Vivid memory : 1 GB (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Hard drive : 20 GB of free space
- Graphics card : DirectX 9 and WDDM 1.0 or more compatible
- Screen : minimum resolution of 1024 x 768
Note that to benefit from the Snap tool (which allows you to put an application on one side of the screen to share your screen in half), your screen resolution must be at least 1366×768. Not to mention an Internet connection, which we will see later became absolutely indispensable.
Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Method 1: Use VirtualBox
If you don't have a second test computer, prefer an installation via a virtual machine. The technique has already been explained for the version Developer Preview of Windows 8 in this tutorial. The principle is identical.
Method 2: Actually install Windows 8
Please note: beginner users abstain! Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a beta version, not finalised and does not represent the final quality of the product. Use only for testing purposes only (except for geeks).
It is necessary before starting, to burn ISO on a DVD, or install it on a USB stick (the tutorial highlights Windows 7 but works perfectly with Windows to proceed with the installation.
Then start the installation by clicking on setup.exe from your DVD or USB stick and let’s go! Follow the step by step wizard:
In our example, we will proceed to a so-called installation” Install now who will erase our main score. Then click on Next.
Check the box to accept the terms and conditions of use then do Next.
You now have the choice between:
- Complete update from Windows 7: Windows settings, personal files and applications are kept;
- Partial update from Windows 7: Only personal files kept ;
- “Clean” installation: Windows 7 will be deleted in its entirety (a Windows.old folder will later appear in C: and there you will find all your old files and folders in your partition).
I advise you to perform an installation without keeping anything because many users (of which I am a part) have encountered additional bugs with upgrades from Windows 7 including the impossibility of running Metro applications. Do then Next and proceed to the installation.
After installation is over, we will have to create a user account and set some basic options (all this to be changed later).
The first step is to choose a background color that will be taken up in the Start Screen.
The second step offers you to connect to the Internet (Wifi/cable).
The third step allows you to opt for a quick installation or the customise.
As a geek who respects himself, I opted for Customise. I pass you the multitude of screens that follow but to sum up, you can set the updates, privacy (in essence you want to be spyed, geolocation...), security...
Finally, the last step is to create a user account. Small and not least, you have the option to create either a local account (i.e. as you do from Windows 95, see even before), or a Microsoft account. This will allow you to purchase apps on the Windows Store, the status of your Facebook friends, Twitter... are automatically updated, share photos from Flickr, Facebook and Skydrive with your friends, your personal settings (visual theme, languages, internet favorites, apps...) are saved online...
Which means that:
- when creating the Microsoft account, you are asked for an email address and a password.
- if it is an already existing Live account (hotmail/live address), you can reuse it without any problems, and your machine will be associated with it;
- if it is a non-live account, the address and password you enter will automatically generate the creation of a Live account (no matter if it is a gmail, yahoo or other address).
- in addition, you will receive an email on the address entered to confirm the association of your machine to this address.
So the cloud is omnipresent in Windows 8.
What we don't really know for now (beta and not had time to test everything yet):
- if you use a Microsoft account and lose the Internet connection: what’s going on? Disconnect after a few minutes? Possibility to reconnect locally?
- if our Live account is blocked (and it happens more often than you think): can we easily unlock the situation? Can we always logger?
- if our Live account is a victim of a viral attack: what happens?
Finally, wait a few seconds for Windows to prepare your session and discover this re-imagined OS!
After a few days of testing, here are a series of positive and negative points to note:
- Trackpad maneuverability despite an improvement since the Preview developer is always painful;
- Delete the start menu (but see for use);
- Unable to operate Metro-type applications properly if upgraded (generally, the upgrade method is working poorly);
- Difficulty in understanding the navigation system through the corners of the screen;
- The duplicate effect between the Start Screen and the classic desktop version of Windows (e.g. control panel, IE 10...);
- Explain to these close computer beginners the difference between a local account, Microsoft, Live...
- Many bugs but it’s a beta
- Speed of start/off, system fluidity (especially in Metro);
- The return of the “parent folder” icon that had disappeared with Seven!
- Design of Metro-type applications such as weather, purse, Allociné, Dictionary Larousse and others very (very) class and beautiful;
- Windows Store;
- The ability to switch automatically between a 3G or Wifi connection;
- Aircraft mode;
- The simplicity of using the Start Screen;
- Great customisation of the Start Screen;
- The visual theme automatically adapts to the colors of your wallpaper;
- The merger between Windows Defender and Microsoft Security Essentials that are now one to give way to Windows Defender simply;
- The Refresh and Reset mode we will return to it in future tutorials;
Windows 8 looks rather promising despite the fact that it challenges a whole series of learnings that date back to some Windows 95. Wait and see!