Introducing Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Microsoft has released Windows 8 as a Consumer Preview, meaning any user who wishes to take on the task of installing and seeing what this new version brings is able to do so.

The Windows team did a comprehensive write-up on this new release here Introducing Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

My impressions?  While it is packed with innovative features, I can’t help but feel compelled to touch my screen like a tablet, as many features seem touch-centric.  While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is obvious that Microsoft is focused on the growing tablet market, and touch-enabled features are seemingly “bolted on” to a Windows 7 core.  Once you get past the Metro interface, you get a bare desktop with a noticeably absent start menu.  It certainly takes getting used to, and I’m not sure if I’m completely sold…yet.  Possibly when the Windows 8 tablets hit the market and I can experience the true convergence of these platforms as Microsoft has planned, I will be able to see the wisdom of the changes that have been made.  We will see.

Want to download it yourself and give it a try?  Here are links, but remember, this software is still in the prerelease stage, so it could have significant problems, or may not run properly on your system, so it should be installed on a test bed.

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso

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