If you’re curious about Windows 8, Microsoft’s next operating system for tablets, laptops, and desktop PCs, you can try out the Release Preview now. The Release Preview is for the desktop version of Windows 8, and not the stripped down Windows RT, and is only compatible on x86 or “x64″-based machines (although both Windows 8 and RT will share Microsoft’s Metro interface and apps).
System requirements for the PC version of Windows 8 are fairly modest. It requires a 1GHz Processor, 1 GB of RAM (2 for 64-bit systems), 16-20 GB of hard drive space, a graphics card capable of running DirectX 9 with a WDDM driver. If you want to use the touch screen, you need a “monitor that supports mulitouch,” and Microsoft’s Windows Store requires a resolution of 1024 by 768.
You can download the ISO files directly from Microsoft’s servers, where you will find the product key for the preview. The developer’s preview currently supports English, Arabic, Chinese (simplified and traditional), French, German, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. All you need to do is burn the ISO image to a DVD, or if you have a large USB drive you can install the software using Microsoft’s Windows 8 Release Preview Setup tool.
Download Windows 8 Release Preview 32-bit (x86) ISO – 2.5 GB
Download Windows 8 Release Preview 64-bit (x64) ISO - 3.3 GB
Download the Windows 8 Release Preview Setup tool
Product Key: TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF
Keep in mind that Windows 8 is an operating system, and doesn’t seem to include support for dual booting. Make sure that you can recover your computer’s current operating system before you install Windows 8.
Will you be trying out the Windows 8 Release Preview? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.