If you are like me, you are very curious about the new version of Microsoft’s highly dominant desktop operating system. I want to take a moment to look at the installation process.
Step 1: Download the installation media
I downloaded the ISO file from Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview website. There is also an executable for installation on-top of a Windows 7 machine but I figure that most people will use the ISO. The 32-bit ISO is 2.5gb and the 64-bit version is 3.3gb.
Step 2: Boot to the installation media
You will probably want to burn the ISO to a DVD. When you first boot to the disk, you see the new “beta fish”.
Step 3: Select the appropriate language, provide a product key, agree to license
There appears to be a single license key for the consumer preview (DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J).
Things get a little more interesting at this point. The installer give you two options: “Upgrade: Install Windows and keep files, settings, and apps” and “Custom: Install Windows only”. The first option would install over the existing OS, keeping most applications and settings where you left them. I only do fresh installs. In most instances, you will have only one option for drives to install windows on. Be careful that you don’t pick an external or backup drive.
This part of the process went very fast and did not prompt me at any point.
Windows 8 verifies your identity using your Microsoft/Hotmail/Technet credentials. This is new. You are able to look at an online interface to see where you have logged into a Windows 8 PC. I am not sure but I’m guessing that this will make enterprise workstation management more interesting.
At this point, you are taken to the new metro interface.