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The Microsoft Windows Dev team has gone live with the download links for the Windows 8 Developers Preview that was unveiled earlier today at the Microsoft Build Conference.

The downloads have actually gone live three hours before their scheduled 8 PM Pacific Time.

From the Windows Developer Page:

The Windows Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version. Some product features and functionality may require advanced or additional hardware, or installation of other software.

Windows Developer Preview with developer tools English, 64-bit (x64)

DOWNLOAD (4.8 GB)

Sha 1 hash – 6FE9352FB59F6D0789AF35D1001BD4E4E81E42AF

All of the following come on a disk image file (.iso). See below for installation instructions.

  • 64-bit Windows Developer Preview
  • Windows SDK for Metro style apps
  • Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview
  • Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
  • 28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app
Windows Developer Preview English, 64-bit (x64)

DOWNLOAD (3.6 GB)

Sha 1 hash – 79DBF235FD49F5C1C8F8C04E24BDE6E1D04DA1E9

Includes a disk image file (.iso) to install the Windows Developer Preview and Metro style apps on a 64-bit PC.

Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86)

DOWNLOAD (2.8 GB)

Sha 1 hash – 4E0698BBABE01ED27582C9FC16AD21C4422913CC

Includes a disk image file (.iso) to install the Windows Developer Preview and Metro style apps on a 32-bit PC.

The page also discusses installation scenarios and minimum system requirements:

System Requirements

Windows Developer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7:

  • 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
  • 1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
  • 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
  • Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch

Notes about installing the Windows Developer Preview

  • You can’t uninstall the Windows Developer Preview. To reinstall your previous operating system, you must have restore or installation media.
Install on:Windows Developer Preview with developer toolsWindows Developer Preview (32-bit or 64-bit)
Windows 7 and Windows VistaClean install onlyYou can keep accounts, files, and settings
Windows XPClean install onlyYou can only keep accounts and files

A clean install is supported on all builds. You will only receive the full set of installation options when setup is launched in Windows.

How to install the Windows Developer Preview from an ISO image

The Windows Developer Preview is delivered as an .iso image that must be converted into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive. On Windows 7, the easiest way to convert this file is to use Windows Disc Image Burner. On Windows XP and Windows Vista, a third-party program is required to convert an .iso file into installable media—and DVD burning software often includes this capability.

Note: The .iso file that contains the developer tools requires a large capacity DVD called a DVD-9, as well as a DVD burner that can handle dual-layer (DL) DVDs. Most modern burners should be able to handle this format.

Also, if you’re a member of MSDN then you can download the same images from there and you will likely get them much faster.  When I clicked on the links from the developers page the downloads looked like they were going to take over 12 hours.  On MSDN they will be done in just a couple of hours.

Let us know how your experience is with the Windows 8 Developer Preview.