Windows 8.1 Preview is here!
Windows 8.1 Preview is finally available worldwide, thought some parts of the world have had access to it sooner than the others – Americans sooner than everyone else. It is available from preview.windows.com.
There are two ways of getting Windows 8.1 Preview: Through Windows Store software or by downloading an ISO image:
- Windows Store irreversibly upgrades an existing Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 Preview, although since it is a preview, it means you might feel it is more a downgrade than an upgrade. Also note the word “irreversibly” in my sentence: Unless you have a system image or other form of backup, there is no way of going back to Windows 8.0. Windows Store option is not available for Windows 8.0 Enterprise edition and is the only upgrade avenue of Windows RT 8 users.
- The ISO image installs a full Windows 8.1 Pro. Microsoft says it can upgrade a copy of Windows 8 to 8.1 but the fact is that it cannot upgrade a copy of Window 8 Enterprise edition or Windows 8 RT.
- Regardless of which method you use, expect over 2.8 gigabytes of download; 3.8 GB if you use a 64-bit edition.
It is recommended to install Windows 8.1 Preview on a test machine. Keep it away from a production machine. A virtual machine is an alternative solution, although be sure to check the End-User License Agreement to ensure Microsoft has not forbidden the use of a virtual machine. (I didn’t find anything, but please check it personally.)
Installation requires a serial number. Microsoft has published the following in its website: NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F. It expires in 2014.