Windows 8 Consumer Preview Now Available For Download

Sneaking on over to Barcelona for the convenience of the mainstream tech press, Microsoft has finally released the much-anticipated Windows 8 Consumer Preview, during a special press event at the Hotel Miramar.

There are almost as many changes in this build (from the Developer Preview) as there are mentions of Windows 8 being a “no-compromise” and “re-imagined” OS; over 100,000, according to Sinofsky. That being said, we put together a brief overview of the primary changes in the build (such as system-wide spellcheck, the start preview thumbnail, new notifications, boot forward, and Microsoft Account.)

Released in both x64 and x86 flavors, the build is available in English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, and Japanese. Optimized to work well with the same hardware that powers today’s Windows 7 devices, here are the system requirements:

  • 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
Head on over to the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview website to snag the build.

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Paul Paliath

Paul Paliath is a designer. You should follow me on Twitter here.