Windows 8 Consumer Preview is finally here! I’ve already talked about my initial impressions of Windows 8, followed along with the BUILD keynotes day 1 and day 2 and provided developers with tips on how to get started with Windows 8 development. For all of this time since the BUILD conference, everyone has been able to try Windows 8 but it has mainly been aimed at developers looking to develop apps for the new platform. That all changes today with the release of the Consumer Preview. Now it’s everyone else’s chance to try it out. What’s up first? The installation!
Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup
Microsoft is trying its best to keep things friendly and streamlined in the installation process. To that end, Windows 8 can be installed using a setup application that includes a web downloader that will walk you through the process. (Note: ISO downloads are also available)
Step one: compatibility check
The first thing the installer will do is check for Windows 8 compatibility for both you installed applications and your device drivers.
When the installer is done checking for compatibility it will provide a concise report and a link to more details. For most users, this is enough information so it’s nice to see it presented so cleanly.
step two: downloading windows 8 consumer preview
Now Windows 8 Consumer Preview is ready to download. The next screen will give you the product key for the install (save this for later just in case!).
Once you start downloading you’ll be given progress indicators.
If you need to pause at some point, don’t worry. There’s built-in pause support!
step three: installation
Now comes the fun part — the actual installation. Interestingly enough, there are some unexpected options in the next dialog. Windows 8 will give you three options:
- “Install now” – meaning: install as an upgrade of the current system
- “Install on another partition” – meaning: don’t install over top of my current system
- “Install later” – meaning: save the stuff you just downloaded and I’ll come back to it later
After this, Windows will present a fairly standard license agreement.
Setup will now ask you what you want to keep from your current system.
If you’re not sure what you might want to keep, there’s even some guidance for that.
It’s almost time to install at this point, but there might be a few things you need to address before you can install. In my case, there are some antivirus issues that need to be addressed (i.e. uninstalled).
After this, it’s time to install!
And it’s off to the races!
I like the installation experience for Windows 8. There’s just enough information provided without becoming overwhelming. When I need more details, they’re available. My Windows 8 Consumer Preview installation hasn’t successfully completed yet, but once it does you can bet I’ll have more to say. Stay tuned! In the meantime, follow me on Twitter (@brentschooley) for more up to date information.