If you want to try Windows 8, you can download the "Developer Preview". It is freely available here
. The hardware requirements are similar to those of Windows 7. It as an alpha version, not even a beta... and it is intended for developers, not consumers. That means that it is very unstable; keep that in mind when playing with it. If you can, use a virtual machine to test it, don't use it as a replacement for your current OS. You can use VirtualBox for that. It can be found here
. It is not meant to be use in production environments yet. Windows 8 is best when installed clean, not as an upgrade. In this version you will be able to take advantage of the full touch capabilities of the OS.
The best way to play with it is: If you have a spare system that you can format your HDD, go for it... If not, the suggestion of the virtual machine should be the one. Besides, if you use a virtual machine, be sure to have CPU power and plenty of RAM and HDD for both, the host OS and Windows 8, and of course, their apps. On the other hand, if you decide to use separate hardware, be aware of possible problems and conflicts with drivers.
Most of the time the installer will not ask you for a key (Microsoft forgot about issuing keys with this alpha), but if it does, you can use this one: 6RH4V-HNTWC-JQKG8-RFR3R-36498.
This is not illegal
, trust me. You must activate the OS before you can customize it.
Believe me, it worth the look! Go ahead and don't be afraid to play... Hurry, this release will be due on March next year (I forgot the exact date.., sorry!), but rumors say that there should be around a possible beta by February. As I tell my students, "spoiling you will learn". Read before trying anything. Learn and enjoy!!!
There are already plenty of published evaluations and reviews of the OS on the Web pinpointing many features and changes, and discussing the pros and cons... The feelings about it are very mixed up. As Heraclitus said, "the only constant in the universe is change". We can resist to it, but ultimately it will always come.
As a personal note here, I found the 64 bits version to be more stable and faster than the 32 bits.
P.D.: When using VirtualBox to test Windows 8, you must enable hardware virtualization through your BIOS; software virtualization is not supported for 64-bit VMs. Your BIOS must be capable to do this, even for the 32 bits guest of Windows 8 (for now); if it is not capable of hardware virtualization, then... Houston, we got a problem... and independent hardware is the only way.