Get the Windows 8 Developer Preview

September 15, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Are you ready for the new version of Windows? Windows 8 was released to developers on September 13, 2011, enabling them to see just what we’ll be getting and providing a test bed for judging how their applications might run. With the new Metro user interface (a scaled-up version of what is seen on Windows Phones) and the traditional Windows desktop now an app, Windows 8 clearly represents a step away from the mouse driven user interface popularized with Windows 95 and a move towards finger-based interaction.

Of course, unless you’re lucky enough to have exactly the right hardware you won’t be able to take advantage of the finger-friendly multi-touch capable interface just yet, but if you have a Windows Live account and can register as a developer, you will be able to download and try out the Developer Preview version of Windows 8!

Get the Windows 8 Developer Preview

How Do I Download Windows 8?

Before you can go and download Windows 8, you need to have a Windows Live account setup for access to the MSDN channel on the Microsoft website. If you don’t have a Windows Live account, head over to Live.com and select Don’t have a Windows Live ID? Sign up. With your details entered and confirmed, it is now time to head to the MSDN website.

Msdn.microsoft.com is the home for Microsoft platform developers and by using the Sign in link in the top right corner you can register yourself as a developer and gain access to the site.

Once this is done, select Download the Windows Developer Preview and choose the right version of Windows 8 Developer Preview to download for your system. You can choose between a 32-bit version, a 64-bit version or a 64-bit version with developer tools; note that this last choice is larger than a standard DVD.

With your chosen Windows 8 version downloaded you have a choice of installing to a virtual machine or burning to disc and installing on a new partition!

Will My PC Run Windows 8?

Although visually very different, Windows 8 has been designed to run on devices of all kinds, from high end desktop PCs to low-spec system-on-a-chip tablets. Whether you device has an Intel processor or an ARM chip, you should be able to run Windows 8 without a problem.

However this Developers Preview isn’t quite the full release yet, and as such it has the following system requirements:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

Basically, if your computer runs Windows 7 then you should be able to take advantage of this preview version of Windows 8.

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