Windows 8 preview release downloadable tonight

Microsoft will post a Windows 8 developer preview release on its developer website.

Want to give Windows 8's new look a try? Starting tonight, you'll be able to download a Windows 8 developer preview release straight from Microsoft.

The Windows 8 preview code will be available as an ISO file at 8 p.m. Pacific time from Microsoft's developer website. You'll have a choice of 32-bit or 64-bit x86 builds, with or without developer tools. Sample apps -- a Twitter client, a Facebook client, games and more -- are also included.

Because this is prerelease code, a clean install is required. "It is not a beta release," Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky wrote in a blog post. "We will be updating the release with various quality updates and drivers over the coming weeks/months just to exercise our overall update and telemetry mechanisms."

Windows 8 is a major overhaul to Microsoft's PC operating system. It's designed with touchscreens in mind, launching into a Metro-style user interface with touch-friendly apps, but it also accommodates standard input devices. The traditional Windows desktop is represented as an app within the broader Windows 8 interface, and the preview build already supports Windows 7 applications.

For more on Windows 8, check out Jason Cross' hands-on preview of the developer build on a prototype tablet.

Follow Jared on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ for even more tech news and commentary.

This story, "Windows 8 preview release downloadable tonight" was originally published by PCWorld.

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