Download Windows 8: Where and How
While an exact date has not been scheduled, Microsoft is preparing to launch its newest operating system, Windows 8, this fall. The latest version builds off Windows 7, but with a goal of making it easier to use across all platforms, including PCs, tablets and smartphones. Some of Windows 8's highlights include fast launching from a tile-based Start screen – which replaces the Windows Start menu with customizable and live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps. In addition, the new operating system has the ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so users can multitask. Windows 8 also features fully touch-optimized browsing for tablets, smartphones and PCs with touchscreens.
While the final version is not out yet, those who are eager to get their hands on the new operating system can start downloading the Windows 8 Release Preview.
Where to Download Windows 8
Since it's not out yet, the only place we know of for guaranteed availabilityis the Microsoft Store. By downloading through the Microsoft Store, users can ensure their operating system is up to par and free of any dangerous malware. However, past versions of the operating system have been made available by trusted retailers like Digital River and Dell. The Microsoft Store is also the only place users can download the Windows 8 Release Preview.
Downloading Windows 8
Until it is officially released this fall, it isn't known exactly what it will take to download Windows 8. However, the Windows 8 Release Preview can be downloaded on computers that meet certain requirements. Before downloading the entire operating system, Windows 8 Release Preview Setup is run to check the PC to see if it can run the Release Preview. Among the things it checks for is whether the computer has at least a 1 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of available hard disk space. The Setup program then selects the optimized version of the download that is right for the PC. Once Windows 8 Release Preview is downloaded, users choose how and when to install it. Users can install on the current drive or can make an ISO or bootable flash drive for installing Windows 8 Release Preview on another partition, virtual machine or PC. Microsoft does warn that only experienced PC users who are willing to use software that is still in development should download the Windows 8 preview.
Depending on Internet speed, downloading Windows 8 takes about two hours.
While the official Windows 8 should be bug-free, the same cannot be said for the preview version. Users are advised that while the preview has been thoroughly tested and is stable, there is still the possibility it could cause a computer to crash, not work with certain software and hardware, have trouble connecting to corporate or home networks and have files that might be corrupted. When downloading the preview version or the full version, be sure to do so either directly from Microsoft or from reputable download sites.