Finally Microsoft have released Windows 8 Consumer Preview and you can download it here, I downloaded an ISO version. The developer release which came out last year was very basic and didn’t do a lot but then again it was a developer release! This release has much more in it.
I wanted to run it as a virtual machine first to see what it is like. Two main options for that are VMWare Player or Virtualbox, both excellent and free. I already have VMPlayer v4.0.1 installed so that was the challenge to get Windows 8 running on there. After some trials I finally got there and used the following steps;
1. Start VMPlayer and click on ‘Create a New Virtual Machine’
2. Select ‘I will install the operating system later’, trying other options kept creating other problems later so just create the empty VM first. Click Next,
3. Select ‘Microsoft Windows’ and then version ‘Windows 7’, this not the obvious selection. Click Next.
4. Give it a name on the next screen and accept the defaults through to the finish.
5. Once the VM appears in the selection start it and it will try to load the OS but will fail after a minute or two.
6. At the bottom of VMPlayer there is a button ‘Change CD/DVD Settings’ click on this and then select ‘Use ISO Image file’ and choose the ISO you downloaded above.
7. Then let it start installing. You will see some bits of the install taking place and then the VM screen will go black and sit there for ages doing nothing. Instinct says it has hung but you will also see a button at the bottom right of VMPlayer ‘I have finished Installing’, click on there and it seems to continue!
8. Depending on your machine the whole install and config can take some time. If you download the ISO image you will need a product key which you can get from here.