You Can Download Windows 8 Developer Preview for Free
Windows 8 is Microsofts future operating system that is intended to share aspects of Windows 7 while also competing directly with iPad, iOS, and Android thanks to it’s Metro user interface. We’ve praised some of the Windows 8 features before, and also criticized the freakishly cluttered Ribbon UI, but now you can try it out yourself and come up with your own conclusion of Microsofts future OS, completely for free.
The Windows 8 Developer Preview comes as a free download from Microsoft:
There is no product activation required. The .iso files weigh in between 2.8GB and 4.8GB depending on what you’re looking for and you can install it in a Virtual Machine if you want, here are a few guides on how to do this:
- Install Windows 8 in VirtualBox – totally free
- How to install Windows 8 in VMWare – free for 30 days, then VMWare costs $49
These methods work to run Windows 8 atop Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.7, Linux, and Windows, just be sure you have adequate RAM and disk space available.
If you want to install it separately, you should have about 16GB of disk space to try it out, and without a touch screen you won’t be able to enjoy all the funky Metro UI features. Official system requirements are as follows:
Windows Developer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7:
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
If you don’t have a spare PC to install Windows 8 DP on and you don’t want to bother dual booting with a separate partition, go the aforementioned virtual machine route.