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Monday, 26 March 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Download.

Recently,The Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been launched in the Market for test by Users.So I thought Why not publish a review of it.I'll also show you some Screen Shots of Windows 8.

Note: You can find the download link for Windows 8 at the end of this post.

Consumer Preview

On 29 February 2012, Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the beta version of Windows 8, build 8250. For the first time since Windows 95, the Start button is no longer available on the taskbar, though the Start screen is still triggered by clicking the bottom-left corner of the screen and by clicking Start in the Charm. Windows president Steven Sinofsky said more than 100,000 changes had been made since the developer version went public. In the first day of its release, Windows 8 Consumer Preview was downloaded over one million times.Like the Developer Preview, the Consumer Preview is set to expire on the 15 January 2013.

New features

Metro UI

Windows 8 will employ a new user interface based on Microsoft's Metro Design Language The Metro environment will feature a new tile-based Start screen similar to the Windows Phone operating system. Each tile will represent an application, and will be able to display relevant information such as the number of unread messages on the tile for an e-mail app or the current temperature on a weather application. Metro-style applications run in full-screen, and are able to share information between each other using "contracts". They will be available through the new Windows Store.Metro-style apps are developed with the new Windows Runtime platform using various programming languages, including C++, Visual Basic, C#, and HTML/Javascript.
The traditional desktop environment, for running desktop applications, is treated as a Metro app. The Start Button has been removed from the taskbar in favor of a Start button on the new charm bar, as well as a hotspot in the bottom-left corner. Both open the new Start screen, which replaces the Start menu.

Other features
  • Internet Explorer 10 will be included both as a Metro-style app, which will not support plugins or ActiveXcomponents, and a desktop version which resembles Internet Explorer 9 and will maintain legacy plug-in support.
  • Ability to sign in using a Windows Live ID. This will allow for the user's profile and setting to be synchronized over the internet and accessible from other computers running Windows 8, as well as integration with SkyDrive.
  • Two new authentication methods: picture password, which allows users to log in by drawing three gestures in different places on a picture, and PIN log in, which allows users to authenticate using a four digit pin.
  • Windows Explorer will include a ribbon toolbar, and have its file operation progress dialog updated to provide more detailed statistics, the ability to pause file transfers, and improvements in the ability to manage conflicts when copying files.
  • Hybrid Boot will use "advanced hibernation functionality" on shutdown to allow faster startup times.

Bootable Windows To Go USB flash drive
  • Windows To Go will allow Windows 8 to be run from a bootable USB device (such as a flash drive).
  • Two new recovery functions are included, Refresh and Reset. Refresh restores all Windows files to their original state while keeping settings, files, and Metro-Style apps, while reset takes the computer back to factory default condition.
  • Native USB 3.0 support
  • A new lock screen
  • New task manager design

Hardware requirements

Microsoft says that the Consumer Preview works well on hardware suitable for Windows 7; these system requirements may change in the final release.
Minimum hardware requirements for Windows Consumer Preview
Architecturex86 (32-bit)x86-64 (64-bit)
Processor1 GHz
Memory (RAM)1 GB2 GB
Graphics CardDirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
HDD free space16 GB20 GB
To use touch input features, touch enabled hardware is required.
In order to run Metro applications, a screen resolution of 1024x768 or higher is required to run one app at a time, and a resolution of 1366x768 is required to run two app side-by-side using snap.
Microsoft has said that the following virtualization products can be used to run Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Hyper-V in Windows 8 Developer Preview, Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2, VMware Workstation 8.0.2 for Windows, VirtualBox 4.1.8 for Windows, Parellels Workstation 6 for Windows, Parellels Desktop 4 for Windows, and XenDesktop 5.5.
Microsoft requires that Windows 8 PCs support no-reboot upgrade of graphic card drivers and Windows 8 PCs should resume in two seconds or less, but the two seconds resume requirement is laxed for ARM based PCs.

Hardware requirements for Tablets/Convertibles

Microsoft has released minimum hardware requirements for tablet and convertible devices for Windows 8. Microsoft has defined a convertible form factor as a standalone device that combines the PC, display and rechargeable power source with a mechanically attached keyboard and pointing device in a single chassis. A convertible can be transformed into a tablet where the attached input devices are hidden or removed leaving the display as the only input mechanism. 
Hardware buttons: Must have five hardware buttons - 'Power', 'Rotation lock', 'Windows Key', 'Volume-up', 'Volume-down'. The Windows Key to be at least 10.5 mm in diameter.
5-point digitizers: Microsoft requires that Windows 8 touch PCs use digitizers supporting a minimum of 5 touch points.
Broadband: If a mobile broadband device is integrated into a tablet or convertible system, then an assisted GPS radio is required
Display: Minimum native resolution/color depth is 1366x768 at a depth of 32-bits. The physical dimensions of the display panel must match the aspect ratio the native resolution. The native resolution of the panel can be greater than 1366 (horizontally) and 768 (vertically).
Near Field Communication: Devices supporting NFC need to have visual marks to help users locate and use the proximity technology.
New button combo for Ctrl + Alt + Del: The new option is to press Windows Key + Power.
Storage: At least 10 GB free space "after the out-of-box experience completes".
Graphics: Direct3D 10 device w/ WDDM 1.2 driver
Camera: Minimum 720p 
Ambient light sensor: 1-30k lux capable w/ dynamic range of 5-60K.
Accelerometer: 3 axes w/ data rates >= 50Hz
Magnetometer and Gyroscope 
USB 2.0: At least one controller and exposed port.
Networking: WLAN and Bluetooth 4.0+ LE (low energy)
System firmware: UEFI
Built-in speaker and microphone 

Secure boot

Secure boot is a controversial UEFI-based feature to "prevent unauthorized firmware, operating systems, or UEFI drivers from running at boot time".
Microsoft will require new PCs to have the UEFI secure boot feature enabled by default to be given Windows 8 certification. Microsoft requires that manufacturers must offer the ability to turn off the secure boot feature on x86 hardware, but they must not offer such an option on ARM Hardware

Secure boot and other operating systems

In September 2011, Matthew Garrett, a Red Hat developer, raised the possible risk of Microsoft locking out alternative systems, leading to media coverage. Microsoft addressed the issue in a blog post,stating "the customer is in control of their PC. Microsoft’s philosophy is to provide customers with the best experience first, and allow them to make decisions themselves" which was largely interpreted that they would allow OEM manufacturers to choose whether to allow users to disable the feature or not, however in January 2012, the company reversed their position and revealed ARM manufacturers must not allow Secure Boot to be disabled, causing concerns, particularly in the Linux community.

Software compatibility

Windows 8 for x86/64 processors will run most software compatible with previous versions of Windows, with the same restrictions as Windows 7: 64-bit Windows will run 64-bit and 32-bit software while 32-bit Windows will run 32-bit and 16-bit software (although some 16-bit software may require compatibility settings to be applied, or not work at all).
Windows on ARM Processors (WOA) will only support the applications included with the system (including some Office 15 desktop applications), supplied through Windows Update, or acquired through the Windows Store, which will only provide Metro applications. Windows on ARM will not support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop applications, in order to ensure the quality of apps available on ARM.
Metro applications can be cross-compatible with both x86/64 based systems and Windows on ARM, or compiled to support a specific architecture.

On February 18, 2012, Microsoft confirmed that in Windows 8 the Windows logo will be significantly updated to reflect the new Metro design language. The formerly flag-shaped logo has been transformed into four window panes, perspective was added, and the entire logo will be rendered in a single solid colour, which will depend on the user's personalization changes.

Now For the Download Link as I promised.

Download Link for Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Click Here

Here Are Some Screen Shots of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Click on the Image to Enlarge.


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UPDATE: Our Windows 8 Screenshots Archive has been removed from for unknown reasons.

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