The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available


— 9:50 AM on February 29, 2012

Right on schedule, Microsoft made the Windows 8 Consumer Preview available earlier this morning. You can head to the official portal for more information. An automated setup application is available over here (no need to enter your e-mail address, by the way) if you want your hand held through the download and installation, but more experienced users might want to head straight to the ISO download section. There, you can grab 32-bit and 64-bit disc images in English, Chinese, French, German, and Japanese.

Not sure what you're getting into? Then why not check out this freshly released teaser video—whose background track sounds, horrifyingly, like it moonlights as dubstep. (Here I thought game trailers were the only casualties of that recent trend.)

A more complete preview of the, er, Consumer Preview can be perused over at the Windows Team Blog.

Oh, and additional details are available in the official FAQ page. There, you'll learn the hardware requirements (a 1GHz processor, DirectX 9 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 20GB of storage capacity for the 64-bit version), where to grab the developer tools, and how to revert to your previous operating system after installing the Consumer Preview (you can't). Unless you want to take the red pill, we'd suggest installing the Consumer Preview to a different partition or grabbing your favorite virtualization software.

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