Wednesday, February 29th 2012

Microsoft Announces Availability of Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview - the next milestone of the Windows operating system. This latest preview will be made available for download starting today at http://preview.windows.com. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview offers a more robust experience for testing the world's most popular operating system and is available to the widest range of people yet following the initial release of the Windows 8 Developer Preview late last year. The Developer Preview received more than 3 million downloads.

"With Windows 8, we reimagined the different ways people interact with their PC and how to make everything feel like a natural extension of the device, whether using a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or all-in-one," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft. "The Windows 8 Consumer Preview brings a no-compromises approach to using your PC."


At a Windows 8 Consumer Preview event in Barcelona that was attended by partners from Europe and around the world, the company shared some key new updates in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

- Broad range of product changes and improvements. Since the Developer Preview in September, designed to preview the programming platform, Windows 8 has progressed across every dimension. From completing the user experience for touch, keyboard and mouse to refining the development platform, the Consumer Preview improves performance, quality and reliability across all subsystems. With the added features, it represents a more complete view of the capabilities of Windows 8.

- Windows Store with new apps. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview marks the beta opening of the Windows Store, which is filled with a variety of new Metro style apps from both third-party developers and Microsoft. During the Consumer Preview, these apps are available to try and experience at no cost to users. The Windows Store will offer personalized recommendations, and Windows 8 gives users the ability to take their apps and settings with them across multiple PCs, making it easy to discover and try new apps while offering developers the greatest opportunity of any platform.

- Connecting to the cloud across Windows-based PCs and Windows Phone. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview offers seamless integration with the content people care about across their devices. An optional additional sign-on with a Microsoft account provides access to a host of features, including the ability to roam all settings, use cloud storage, communicate with email, calendar and contacts, and connect to a broad range of services. Your connection to the cloud works across your Windows-based PCs and your Windows Phones.

- Internet Explorer 10 Platform Preview 5. The best way to experience the Web on Windows is with Internet Explorer 10. The browser has been re-imagined to create a new experience designed specifically for Windows 8 devices. It provides an edge-to-edge user interface that is all about less browser and more Web. Fast and fluid, Internet Explorer is hardware-accelerated to enable Web performance.

- Preview of new hardware capabilities. At the event, Microsoft also showcased Windows 8 running on a wide range of new x86- and ARM-based reference hardware. This hardware will be available to select developers for trial and testing as previously announced.

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview will be available worldwide for download in English, French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese languages. More information about Windows 8 and how to download the Consumer Preview is available at http://preview.windows.com or http://windowsteamblog.com/.
Add your own comment

50 Comments on Microsoft Announces Availability of Windows 8 Consumer Preview

#1
theoneandonlymrk
by: zsolt_93
Works definitely better than the Dev. Preview in VirtualBox.It does not freeze often and even the VB graphics could be installed which always failed in the dev. one. It is a nice way to test it, without the hassle of installing an unfinished os which will need replacing when the real W8 comes around.
yeh but can it play crisis,,

no seriously can you play games because thats pretty much what id want to test?:)
Posted on Reply
#2
Arctucas
So, it is impossible to disable the Metro UI and get back the Start Menu on the taskbar?

I have a PC, with a mouse and keyboard, not a smartphone.
Posted on Reply
#3
Mathragh
Yes, games will run fine, and both AMD and Nvidia posted drivers especially for win 8.

On another note:
I'm really dissapointed in this preview(and perhaps windows 8 as a whole) after using this install.

For Metro, I expected to have this nice and useable interface, in which i could do basically all i could at the desktop(with the proper "app" atleast)

Instead i get this 90% useless interface to which i'm bound, since there is no visible and easy way to disable it. Furthermore the apps from which I expected the most, like messenger and mail dont even give 10% of the functions i was used to from windows live essentials. And then when you think, ah well, i'll just log off, there doesnt seem to be a way to actually log off, only appear offline. This interface is fine, for my phone, but for my PC I want to be able to do a lot more than that it currently offers me.

If only they included the simple "shutdown Metro UI" option, everything would've been fine, but this... I guess we'll have to wait for the "windows 8 professional review", or atleast some news about some version of win 8 having the option of turning that darn interface off.

This is coming from someone that was really positive about win 8 untill today
Posted on Reply
#4
Bambooz
Waste of time and ressources IMHO.
Basically a Vista 2.0 .. or Win ME 3.0 if you want. Just with more big brother added to the mix.

I'll probably do a "know your enemy" kinda install in a VM or on a test box, but other than that? Hell no..
I'm sitting in front of a god damn computer. NOT a f%§/$% tablet FFS.

I sincerely hope Win8 will end up as an epic fail.. hopefully even more than Vista.. and MS gets their sh*t together after that..

Win7 is what.. 3 years old now? And they're already cutting down stuff for it (Windows Live gallery for widgets and stuff is basically gone.. not that I care too much but c'mon..after 3 years? really?!) and they were about to cut support for most versions in January 2015, but just recently changed that into January 2020 .. they probably realized how ridiculous this would've been after a complaint-sh*tstorm or something.
Posted on Reply
#5
Mathragh
by: Bambooz
Waste of time and ressources IMHO.
I sincerely hope Win8 will end up as an epic fail.. and MS gets their sh*t together after that..
Why would you want it to fail?

Wouldnt you want it to be epic instead?

And imho, win8 isnt like vista at all, vista was bad because it was a resource hog at that time(that problem was over after a while however, and uptill now, its quite an OK OS).

Windows 8 is really nice, the hardware management is great, the support is great, and the speed at which things run is also great, untill you realise you're stuck with the interface. Its potentially a great OS, with some worthwhile advantages over win7, but then the interface just ruins your day as a desktop poweruser.
Posted on Reply
#6
Arctucas
It is truly a sad day when Microsoft decides to take the best OS they have made (Windows 7) and crapify it with this Metro garbage, in an effort to be 'cool' and 'hip'.

@[USER=78901]Mathragh[/USER],

The Windows key + i will bring up the logoff/restart/shutdown.
Posted on Reply
#7
Mathragh
by: Arctucas
It is truly a sad day when Microsoft decides to take the best OS they have made (Windows 7) and crapify it with this Metro garbage, in an effort to be 'cool' and 'hip'.

@Mathragh,

The Windows key + i will bring up the logoff/restart/shutdown.
Thanks, that got me half way, but still there is no way to only log out in the message app.
Posted on Reply
#8
theoneandonlymrk
by: theoneandonlymrk
Quote:
Originally Posted by zsolt_93
Works definitely better than the Dev. Preview in VirtualBox.It does not freeze often and even the VB graphics could be installed which always failed in the dev. one. It is a nice way to test it, without the hassle of installing an unfinished os which will need replacing when the real W8 comes around.

yeh but can it play crisis,,

no seriously can you play games because thats pretty much what id want to test?
i ment can you play games on win8 with it running in a virtual machine
Posted on Reply
#9
Mathragh
by: theoneandonlymrk
i ment can you play games on win8 with it running in a virtual machine
I dont think so, atleast not in any playable way. I tried to set up a 2 person gaming account once, with one person using the windows on the PC itself, and another person using the VM on the second screen fullscreen with a dedicated keyboard and mouse. No matter what we did and even with hardware acceleration on(which only supports certain kinds of DX9 last time i checked), there was no way i could get things running smoothly with over 35 FPS, even with nothing running on the main windows install.

You can always try though.
Posted on Reply
#10
[H]@RD5TUFF
Really not liking what I am seeing in Windows 8.
Posted on Reply
#11
Delta6326
Well lol about 10 min. after install my computer froze and I had to take my CMOS battery out reset my whole system and can only boot into W7. I found a old 10 year old IDE HD from a old Gateway and installed W8 on it.

I think im going to still Reformat my main HD, but keep just W7 on it.
Going to have to download driver for stuff :banghead:
Posted on Reply
#12
TRWOV
by: btarunr
I have it installed here. The installation is tricky. Keep a Live ID handy. The Metrosexual UI takes a lot of getting used to.

Oh, and there's no Start menu as such.

I was right about Metro resembling a touchscreen-based training program for chimpanzees (push the right color for banana).
So you can't disable Metro like in the DP?
Posted on Reply
#13
Delta6326
by: TRWOV
So you can't disable Metro like in the DP?
In my short amount of time using it, you can't disable it all the way. But you can go to desktop and it look just about normal besides the start bar.
Posted on Reply
#14
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
by: TRWOV
So you can't disable Metro like in the DP?
I just installed it, and unfortunately you can't disable Metro like the DP. However, that might just mean that the method has changed and no one has figured it out yet. IIRC, the method to disable it before took a few days for people to figure out.

I truly hope that Metro is easily disabled in the final product, and Microsoft is just pushing the crap out of it in the previews to get people to actually use it and give feedback on it. Because for desktop use Metro is totally useless, but it works great on tablets.
Posted on Reply
#15
TheLaughingMan
So now that I own a Window 7 phone. I can now assure you that is what Windows 8 is. That is it. They stuck my phone interface over the desktop OS.
Posted on Reply
#16
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
Its windows 7 with the phone interface as highway put it, Totally useless!
Posted on Reply
#17
v12dock
by: JKnows
I have been downloading for 5 and half hours and I have another 6 hours:pimp:.
It took me a whole 4 minutes and 30 seconds :cry:
Posted on Reply
#18
erocker
So when I go to the link to download it gives me a 4.99mb file. I run it and it checks things on my current Win 7 install. Where can I download the actual O/S?

*Nevermind, found it.
Posted on Reply
#20
AphexDreamer
I think Microsoft has confused the word progress with retrogress and metro...

My pc isn't a phone! My phones a phone dam it!
Posted on Reply
#21
LAN_deRf_HA
The wise move for MS would be to add detection for touch screens. No touch screen = no metro by default.
Posted on Reply
#23
LifeOnMars
I actually really like it, if I had a touch screen it would be pretty awesome but the navigation is fairly easy with mouse anyway.

It also let me install the latest WHQL Nvidia drives without an issue and bizarrely, Portal 1 which was stuttering all over the place in windows 7 is now smooth???? I have played Alan Wake, Portal, Skyrim and FIFA 12 all without issues.

It also created a smaller default page file and I reckon once people get used to how the new interface works it's going to be a winner!! :)


EDIT - It seems with DX11 games it is giving me 59.9Hz maximum refresh rate as opposed to the 60Hz it should be (Which is set in Nvidia CP and monitor settings). This is causing syncing issues with DX11 games for me. World Of Warcraft is stuttering whereas before it was smooth. Also BFBC2 in DX11 60Hz is not an option. DX9 Games are running beautifully at 60Hz.

Anyone have a solution?

EDIT 2 - Going to try reinstalling WoW, just to note I'm running 295.73 WHQL via HDMI.
Posted on Reply
#24
baggpipes
I am confused.... why so much hiding of the buttons....
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment