Microsoft has finally put the consumer preview of Windows 8 online in order to allow users to check whether their personal computer will be able to run the operating system prior to the final release candidate.
The setup also includes a useful compatibility report and upgrade assistance. Those looking for more customisation options can create an ISO or bootable flash drive using built in tools as well.
Two ISO images are available in 64-bit (x64) and 32-bit (x86) versions with the former downloable as a 3.3GB file and the other as a 2.5GB ISO file. The same product key (DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J) works universally on Windows 8 CP regardless of the language.
The Consumer Preview also comes with a few warnings; Microsoft "strongly recommends" that only experienced users download (and possibly install) Windows 8 Consumer preview. As for those who have installed Windows Develper Preview, they will only be able to keep the user accounts and files.
They will lose the software and windows settings (ed : Ouch for us then). You can find more about Windows 8 Consumer Preview on Microsoft's official webpage. Expect Windows 8 to be launched late summer 2012.