At last Microsoft has released the Download links for Windows 8.1 Preview. Although it days “Windows 8.1 has new ways for you to personalize your PC and includes a wave of awesome new apps and services. This preview is mainly for experienced PC users, so if you’re not sure whether it’s right for you.” It is a free update to existing users of Windows 8 through the Windows Store. According to Redmond Pie “The new version is pretty stable, and if you’re running Windows 8, you may grab it right now. However, do understand that since it’s a preview version, it may not be advisable to use it as a daily driver for your primary PC. That said, we know that you’re the adventurous type, so here you go.”
In order to use Windows 8.1 Preview you must sign in to your PC with a Microsoft account. The option to create a local account will be made available at the final release of Windows 8.1.
What is Windows 8.1 Preview?
Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are prerelease versions of Windows 8.1. They build on Windows 8 and bring you more ways to stay productive, have fun, and do all the things you need and want to do on your PC. Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview include enhancements in personalization, search, apps, the Windows Store, and cloud connectivity, and have the security and reliability features you expect from Windows. They’re fast, and made to work on a variety of form factors—especially the new generation of touch devices.
Windows 8.1 System Requirements:
Windows 8.1 Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 8:
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Free hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- Graphics card: MicrosoftDirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
Windows RT 8.1 Preview requires that you have a PC already running Windows RT with 10 GB of free storage space.
There are two ways to install Windows 8.1 Preview: through the Windows Store or through the ISO.
If you’re running Windows 8 in one of the 13 languages that the preview is available in, we strongly recommend that you download the preview from the Windows Store. When you install from the Store, you can’t create installation media but must download the preview directly from the Windows Store. If you’re running Windows RT, the only way you can update is through the Store. To see if you can update through the Store, see Download Windows 8.1 Preview.
If you’re running Windows 8 and you want to install Windows 8.1 Preview using the ISO, it’s important that you know where your Windows 8 product key is. When you update to the final edition of Windows 8.1 you’ll need your Windows 8 product key to activate. To install Windows 8.1 Preview from within Windows 8, follow these steps:
- Download the ISO (.iso) file.
- Double-tap or double-click the ISO file.
- Double-tap or double-click setup.exe and follow the steps.
If you’re running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, you can download an ISO image and use it to create a bootable DVD or USB flash drive to install Windows 8.1 Preview.
Uninstalling the preview isn’t supported. However, it may be possible to restore your entire system to its factory condition.
see More FAQ here.
According to redmond Pie: It’s all a matter of clicking “Go to the Store” and following the on-screen instructions. The setup utility at this point will download the preview files from Microsoft, so make sure you have an active internet connection. Then, a compatibility check will also be done to ensure that you can actually run the preview. Should all be well, you will see a few more reboots, after which your PC will be running the preview version for Windows 8.1. Pretty easy, huh?
Start button is Back 😆
It’s back. In fact, there’s no way to hide the new Start button. A simple click takes you to the Start screen. One noteworthy change on the right-click power user’s menu is a new set of Shutdown options.
There will two ways to download Windows 8.1 Preview: either from the Store like any other app update, or as a stand-alone ISO that would allow you to set up a dual-boot configuration and install the operating system on a different partition.