Microsoft, today, released the next pre-release version for the client version of Windows 8. It is available in both 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions.
This release is dubbed ‘Consumer Preview’, which, in contrast to the previous ‘Developer Preview’ version, dating September 14 2011, targeted at developers, is targeted towards consumers and businesses.
Consumers, mostly, will enjoy the many touch- and keyboard navigation tweaks that have been made to the Start screen. Now, more than in the Developer Preview, the Start Screen is a mere screen, supporting both multi-touch and traditional keyboard and mouse interfaces. It’s still immersive, but it’s more of a full screen Start Menu now, compared to the experience of a totally new User Experience (UX) in the Developer Preview.
Businesses are also heavily targeted with this pre-release version. While the name might be a little confusing for this purpose, Microsoft has released a 15-page Windows 8 Consumer Preview Guide for Business document, detailing the new productivity capabilities, flexibility and manageability. Here are a couple of excerpts:
Windows 8 helps bridge the gap between users who want a more personal and meaningful experience and IT professionals who want a more secure, manageable operating system.
With Windows 8, workers can type, swipe, or click their way
through the work day.
Also, available are the 32-bit (x86) and 64-bit (x64) versions of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) that enable systems administrators to manage roles and features on Windows Server 8.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available in ISO-format for you to download. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available in the English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German and Japanese language.
Use the links below to download Windows 8 Consumer Preview in English :
The easiest way to convert these ISO files to DVDs in Windows 7 is to use Windows Disc Image Burner. Alternatively, you can use the USB/DVD download tool provided by the Microsoft Store. You can also download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup, which includes tools that allow you to create a DVD or USB flash drive from an ISO file (Windows Vista or Windows 7 required).