Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available for download. Yes, it's free, and anyone can download and install it on their computer.
Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview (ISO Versions)
A "Consumer Preview" is like a beta version that Microsoft considers mostly complete. There will be at least another version come out between now and the final release of Windows 8, which will probably toward the end of 2012.
I do not recommend installing Windows 8 CP on your main computer considering the fact that it may be more "buggy" than a final release. If you have a second or spare computer that you're OK testing on, then by all means go ahead and try it out.
The link above takes you to a page that with downloads in ISO format. This is easiest way to get Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a disc and ready for installation.
See How To Burn an ISO Image File to a CD, DVD, or BD for help. You'll need to burn the ISO image to a DVD or BD disc, as it's too large to fit on a CD.
After that, you'll need to boot to the disc you created on the computer you plan on installing Windows 8 CP on. See How To Boot From a CD, DVD, or BD Disc if you need some help with that.
I don't yet have a tutorial on installing Windows 8 but I'll be working on that right away. For the most part, follow the instructions on screen after booting to the disc you created.
Some major tips I saw in the FAQ:
- If you want to install Windows 8 CP from a USB drive, you'll need to download the Windows 8 CP Setup Program instead of the individual ISO files.
- You will need to enter a product key, but it's the same for everyone: NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8
- You can not uninstall Windows 8 CP. If you want to return to your previous version of Windows, you'll have to perform a clean install of that version of Windows.
To anyone installing - did you run in to trouble? What do you think of Windows 8 Consumer Preview? Let me know in the comments.