Microsoft Windows 8 Logo
Microsoft Windows 8 Logo

Windows 8 Release Preview has been released!

This is our final pre-release, and includes Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more), and hundreds of new and updated apps in the Windows Store. Since our first preview release last September, millions of people now use the pre-release product on a daily basis and millions more have been taking it through its paces, totaling hundreds of millions of hours of testing. We genuinely appreciate the effort that so many have put into pre-release testing, and of course, we appreciate the feedback too. Direct feedback and feedback through usage contributed to hundreds of visible changes in the product and tens of thousands of under-the-hood changes.

The next milestone would be Release to Manufacturing (RTM) which means 1 or 2 months after RTM, we will see it in the retail stores. I am guessing Windows 8 would be launched in the week of 20th October 2012. That is because Windows XP was released on 25th October 2001 and Windows 7 is on 22nd October 2009.

Our next milestone is traditionally called RTM, Release to Manufacturing, and from today until RTM, we will still be changing Windows 8, as we have done in past releases of Windows. We thought it would be a good idea to outline the kinds of feedback we are acting on as millions download and use the Windows 8 Release Preview.

Direct Download Links (ISO)

  • English 64-bit (x64) – 3.3 GB – Sha 1 hash: 0xD76AD96773615E8C504F63564AF749469CFCCD57
  • English 32-bit (x86) – 2.5 GB – Sha 1 hash: 0x8BED436F0959E7120A44BF7C29FF0AA962BDEFC9
  • Product Key: TK8TP-9JN6P-7X7WW-RFFTV-B7QPF

For other languages, check out the downloads page.

System Requirements

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • Additional requirements to use certain features:
    • To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch.
    • To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.
    • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.
  • Internet access (ISP fees might apply)

PS: I am still trying to find out when this copy will expire. Previously the Consumer Preview is set to expire on 15th January 2013.

UPDATE Looks like Windows 8 Release Preview will expire early 2013. Microsoft didn’t give me a specific date.

Official Site: Windows 8 Release Preview
Blog Post: Delivering the Windows 8 Release Preview