Sometime between midnight Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 ET, Microsoft will turn on the free download of Windows 8 Consumer Preview
What will be new with Windows 8?
Let’s look at some of the main things we already know.
While not totally gone, the desktop is being replaced by the new Metro tiled interface. It won’t be much use unless you have a Windows 7 compatible touch screen monitor or Apple Magic Track Pad.
You can navigate with a mouse but that’s not the point.
Download the Consumer Preview of Windows 8
Do not download from any site other than Microsoft. I was already attacked by the Grep virus twice today checking claims websites had the download early. The Microsoft link is not published yet. Check back here on Wednesday and we’ll have it.
Your networks must use the IPv6 protocol on the network card. Go to Open Network and Sharing Center, Change Adapter Settings. Right click on your network adapter. Make sure Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/IPv6) is checked. Don’t do this unless you are familiar with the screen. Enlist the aid of your IT support person in any event.
If you have Windows 7 it will be already in use. While the North American ISPs are not supporting IPv6 yet, Europe and the Asian continent are. Microsoft is nudging us forward.
You will need a Windows Live or Hotmail account so get one today. That account will give you almost unlimited free, cloud storage on Microsoft’s revamped SkyDrive.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview will be almost ready for prime time. If you load it on your primary work computer, expect problems. The final Windows 8 release this fall will require a clean install, also know as wipe your computer. Installation on a secondary computer is recommended for the faint of heart. (If I try it on Whizzer my 980X super desktop, you can wag your finger at me.)
Compared with the Developer version last fall, the Consumer Preview should be more stable but still not the final release.
Windows 8 has new energy saving features that will save electricity if developers implement them.
Windows 8 has upgraded Windows accessibility features to make the operating system easier for persons living with disabilities.
Microsoft will line up partners on the stage in Barcelona for the preview announcement Wednesday morning. Some of those partners will be ARM developers since Windows 8 will ship on mobile computing devices that use the ARM chip.
Rumors of Windows Office 15 on the ARM devices make sense to me. I have the original HP Windows CE handheld computer. It came equipped with Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.