Download Windows 8 Release Preview ISO 64-bit And 32-bit [Official Direct Links]
Well, it’s officially here: The last pre-release build drop before Windows 8 is released to manufacturing has arrived. Dubbed the Release Preview, the build sports quite a few noteworthy changes and improvements over the Consumer Preview.
However, while it packs a number of improvements – which we shall detail shortly – it also doesn’t include a few things that Microsoft plans to bake into the OS by the release. For one, Microsoft recently revealed that the Aero UI that has been present in the Windows ecosystem since Vista is being axed, but Aero transparency is still in this build. I’m kind of disappointed that I can’t experience this in the RP bits; I’ve always argued that Aero felt out of place in Windows, and that Microsoft needed to replace it with something flatter for added UI consistency.
The company did also suggest that even more changes can be expected all the way to RTM, which is unusual for a Windows product. Usually, things get to a point of being feature-complete by the RC stage at most, and future changes are minimal. It goes to show that Windows 8 certainly feels a little bit rushed, but I’m not going to get too far into my thoughts on that.
The Developer Preview – released during BUILD last summer – topped the 500,000 download mark in 24 hours, while the Consumer Preview – released in February – topped one million downloads within the first 24 hours of its release. It should be interesting to see the traction of the Release Preview; should the pattern continue, perhaps it will surpass 2 million downloads within the first 24 hours of going live? There has been quite a fair bit of hype surrounding Windows 8, and I’m sure that most people who encountered bugs in the Consumer Preview build are anxious to see if those issues are resolved; I’m particularly hoping that the bug where the entire system locks up has been resolved by now.
Oh, and for you developers out there, don’t forget to also download the Windows Driver Kit 8 along with Visual Studio 2012, which also includes the Windows 8 SDK. You can get to work on those spiffy Metro apps now so that they’ll be ready to ship not long after Windows 8 itself does.
Now, I bet that by now you’re itching to get your hands on the actual bits. Simply select which architecture you’d like (the build was released in both x64 and x86 flavors, though we recommend you grab it in 64-bit if your system supports it), burn the ISO, and install the build!