MWC 2012 has come to a close, but the real fun has only just begun. Besides waiting anxiously for the new handsets to arrive, Microsoft has a little treat for everyone, as they’ve launched the public Beta of the next version of Windows. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now ready for download, so go ahead and grab the download links from below:

Try it now!

Try it now!

Microsoft is offering two ways to get Windows 8 running on your PC. The first link will download a 5 MB setup file that will check and see if your current PC meets the minimum requirements and then, automatically download the correct version (32-bit or 64-bit). You can also choose to create an ISO file from these files or simply download the ISO directly, if you want to install this on another partition on your PC. Windows 8 is designed to be lighter on system resources, so if you’re running Windows 7 just fine on your PC, then chances are that Windows 8 should be smooth sailing as well. In any case, here are the system requirements for Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

  • 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

If you’re thinking of upgrading your current Windows installation, rather than a fresh install, then you can opt for this. However, you won’t be able to keep all your settings from the previous OS. For instance, if you’re on Windows 7, then you can keep installed programs, Windows settings and User accounts and files. If you’re upgrading from Vista, then you can only keep Windows settings and User accounts and files and finally from XP, you can only keep the latter. Microsoft will be launching Windows 8 for ARM devices as well, later on, but for now, this preview is only meant for x86-based devices, or to put it simply, devices that use either Intel or AMD CPUs. Do not attempt to install this on ARM-based tablets (not that you’ll be able to). This will work on Windows-based tablets and touchscreen PCs, so if you have one of them then you’ll be able to make better use of the Metro UI. 

So, what are you waiting for, go ahead and grab your copy of Windows 8 Consumer Preview and let us know what you think.

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