The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now live!


Essential Member
Hello everyone,
Today, here at we are excited to announce the next public testing version of Windows 8! You may remember the Windows 8 Developer Preview went live in September 2011. Since then, Microsoft has remained hard at work on the next version of their Windows operating system. Today, February 29th 2012 the Consumer Preview is going live! You should expect to see hundreds of changes from the developers preview and hopefully a large plethora of new features as well.
The Windows Store should be active in this release, with Microsoft offering several metro inspired apps for free to improve your Windows 8 experience. We are also expecting close SkyDrive integration with the ability for users to sync almost all their data, settings and more across any PC they use Windows 8 on. There’s also speculation Microsoft will be retiring the 17 year old Start button in the Windows 8. Additionally, there is a new logo for Windows 8, which appears to be a metro inspired version of the flag we’ve come to know and love:


The system requirements are similar to Windows 7:
  • 1GHz processor
  • 1GB RAM for 32-bit OS, 2GB RAM for 64-bit OS
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • 16 GB HDD free space for 32-bit, 20GB HDD free space for 64-bit

As always, this is a beta and is not directly indicative of the quality of the final build of Windows 8. It’s also recommended that you do not use this as your main operating system on a production system. Enough about the operating system, you can test it out for yourself later today – see the bottom of this post for expected release time in different time zones and the download link!

Now the icing on the cake, our daughter site, is also live and waiting for you! Feel free to register and begin posting – for support, discussions, ideas, your thoughts and more. The site is similar to and thus should be an easy transition for most people. Our new site covers everything related to Windows 8, as well as a large number of other Microsoft products, such as Windows Phone! We look forward to seeing you there, and are awaiting your thoughts on the Consumer Preview of Windows 8.

The download will go live at 6AM PST/9AM EST/10AM AST/2PM WET. For more time conversions, look here: 14:00 utc - Wolfram|Alpha. The clock should automatically adjust to your time zone.

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview here:

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Extraordinary Member
So far, quite a usable OS for it's debut as a beta. As I suspected, it uses less resources than Windows 7 does, even with the many programs that I installed. As well as disabling Windows Defender & Windows Firewall, replacing it with ESET Endpoint Security (Beta). That version is good until 04/30/12, giving me 2 months to grab a decent IS for the install.

The downloads were fast, I started at 9:50AM (had trouble finding the links), and even some reported that there was no download available at 9:00AM, as MS promised. No big deal. Using the "Down Them All" d/l manager for FF 10.0.2, both the 32 & 64 bit versions were done by 11:30AM, and I had the 64 bit disk burned & verified by 12:00PM. I burned the image at 4x, a image like this, the slower the better.

Had it installed, updated, and my favorite apps installed within an hour. It will (or should) only get better as time passes.


Well, the DP was one thing but, this Beta is much different & about as fast or faster than I expected. I recall when I 1st started beta-testing 7 it blew me away how quickly it installed the bare-bones OS. I had done many installs of Vista but, never in about 15 mins flat! This Win8 was amazing... 10 mins & it was done!! the speed of internal functions & internet 'surfing' is downright stunning. W/out adding anything (yet) the OS takes up 15.2Gigs. I'm dual-booting (W7 & W8, both x64). Kinda fun trying to keep up w/ this... hard to mouse as fast as the OS goes. Cheers, Drew

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Extraordinary Member
It is very fast! This is what I needed for my low-spec desktop, Windows 7 64 bit was pushing the CPU to it's max most of the time, and the RAM usage was high as well. Fan ran fast almost constantly. Since I've installed 8 CP, the CPU usage has dropped a lot, as well as my RAM usage.

And from the articles & opinions that I read, I had a hunch that it was going to be this way. For Windows 8 to run on some of the devices described for it to run on, it had to be a "green" (low powered) OS. After only 36 hours of using it, my mind is already made, this desktop will have the full install of Windows 8 Pro on it, once released.

I'll keep Windows 7 as is on my MSI notebook. On that, because it's specs are much higher (it's listed here), Windows 7 doesn't push it to the max (CPU idles at 4 to 5%, RAM runs at a tab over 2GB, but I have 8GB installed, so that's no issue). I plan to buy a 128GB SSD within the next 3 to 4 months for it & probably will keep Windows 7 on it until Windows 9 (assuming that's the name of it).

I hope that MS continues to push lightweight OS's like this one in their future releases. It's nice to have an OS to run that doesn't make my computer scream.:biggrin:


Well, y'all knew I'd toss my 2 cents in here Yes, I, too, knew the numbers, the specs, even the motivators & goals, in advance AND what it all suggested... hell, I even sat through a whole morning of listening the Steve rant about its greatness & appeal... I muddled about w/ the DP. We are not there yet, folks but, now we have a beta. It's still early!! ...I don't hear my machine running!!! That is not the case when it's on Windows 7. I have gauges on my screens… the activity & levels are not the same!! Period. W/ Windows 8 it's freaky how low the values are. No wonder things are fast; point here is, to see it hands-on, that's when it becomes concrete & impressive. Damn machine is hardly working... doing the same stuff as would be in Windows 7. However, ppl will balk & fight it tooth & nail unless the majority buy into comments like these. MS has hit a homer, by the looks of it, so far. Will most ppl buy into it, not only as a purchase but, conceptually. I will be bold enough to say MS has turned a corner in what IT & computing is & is becoming, where it's going. This should have appeal... BUT, will the (Metro) Start be a turn off, the lack of Start Menu, ppl thinking it requires Touch and "What??!! I have to go new, again, already??!!"... will these 3 be obstacles? Will all the timely sense it makes, all the performance it offers, outshine all that? Between the number devices upon which this thing is happy & the number of End Users who could be very happy w/ it... it is worth learning it & w/out a chip on one's shoulder OR being pissed about a learning curve... why wouldn't there be a learning curve? Ah, but, no call for panic... MS gave it to the world @ a time ppl would be so bloody curious they would try or play w/ the damn thing, right now, Beta or not, for free... and, gosh, what happens if, even, most of them think it's screamin' cool, too? Maybe, MS lures & hooks folks... Ya think?? Anyway, all factiousness aside, even w/ some things in the DP I thought, this is how is should have always been; then you realise what actually exists now, technically, how Windows 8 positions itself & the IT road ahead... faster, smaller, more powerful & capable, lighter on resources & easier to understand & use. So far, this OS looks like it may be a hit that's going out of the park & lots of folks will applaud. Regards, Drew


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Here is some additional information just to get you guys started on a clean install path for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview (as well as more detail on how to get a product key):

How to Install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview


Extraordinary Member
This was the fastest install of Windows that I ever have done, and I done it by DVD. Within 45 minutes of the install (updating & installing my preferred software, I was using Windows 8 CP.

Wasn't crazy about it at first, but after using it a bit, and running across a couple of articles, it became more clear as to how to run Windows 8 CP. It's a great OS, with lots of potential. What I'm afraid of the most, is that I'll stop using my other computers & run this desktop full time. I'm almost to that point now!


Same here. Maybe, it's the novelty, a bit, but, umm, maybe not. Seriously, it's almost fun how it works & what it does, can do... getting around in it tends to really grow on you & between cool Features & striking performance... quite a piece of work! Was a neat moment when I could see Messenger conversations w/out having the window on the screen... just pops out from the side. Blazing fast, even after adding stuff (Office & more), just smooth, easy & quick to do things & find things or go to things and back again. Geeez, it's barely using any system resources, . I beta-tested Vista & Windows 7 for Microsoft... neither were this polished upon initial beta release. And a bare-bones OS install in 10 mins… thought my clocks were all broken, suddenly... wow. Drew


Extraordinary Member
Here are a few shortcuts that I use to navigate faster across the system:

Desktop ---- Win+D
Metro ---- CTL+ESC
Charms ---- Win+C
Explorer ---- Win+E
Search ---- Win+F
Settings ---- Win+I
App Bar ---- Win+Z
Closing Apps ---- Win + CTRL + TAB
SystemPrograms ---- Win+X

Oh, kewl!! I was just on the verge of going to look for these when your entry showed up in my E-mail Inbox. They are always a big, speedy help & I knew there'd be some (new ones) specific to Win8. Ppl will, especially, like Win+X

Thanks, one thing I can scratch off my To Do list, now.



Extraordinary Member
Drew, there are a lot more shortcuts floating around the web. But I found the little list above gets you around. Too many gets messy and who can remember them all.

Another one I use often when I want to retain info from a webpage is CTL+P and then I print to the XPS Document Writer. That way I can store the info in a XPS doc.

Yes, I put them & some nav tips & how tos in here somewhere. Check it out & yes I agree about committing them to memory.

Heading is:
W8 Keyboard Shortcuts & Nav Tips

I'll look for its link...

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