FAQ: Get Going with Windows 8 Release Preview

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windows 8 release preview activation key

How to change the Windows-8 and 8.1 activation key to activate Win-8?

PT Current Job Listings Yesterday Microsoft shipped the Release Preview for Windows 8, the final public sneak peek for what the company keeps calling a “no compromise” version and “reimagining” of the decades-old OS.

Windows 8 Bible: Navigating Windows 8: A Visual Tour Top Windows chief Steven Sinofsky took to a company blog to announce the availability of Release Preview, and along the way cited all kinds of impressive numbers, ranging from “hundreds of millions of hours of testing” to an accounting of the often-verbose “Building Windows 8” blog.

Sign up for CIO newsletters. No kidding. Take this online course and learn how to install and configure Windows 10 with the options you need. That’s the point of the whole process, said Sinofsky: With that in mind, is it worth your while to try the Release Preview?

That’s only one question among many that you probably have as you ponder the download. As always, we’ve tried to answer the most important. Where do I get it? You start the streamlined download-and-install process at Microsoft’s Release Preview website. And remember, just as with the earlier Consumer Preview, you don’t have to give Microsoft your email address to grab a copy, although at first glance that may seem so.

It all starts with a 5MB setup executable that you’ll run on a Windows 7, Vista or XP system, or on a PC or virtual machine that you earlier migrated to either last year’s Developer Preview or this year’s Consumer Preview. The setup file then downloads the rest of the upgrade — a 1. I want something I can hold in my hand.

You betcha. The easiest way is to grab the setup executable, run it, let it download the rest and then use the built-in tools to burn a DVD or put everything on a USB flash drive. Those tools don’t work on a Windows XP machine. The other way is to download a disk image an “. Links to the an bit.

What languages does Release Preview come in? The sneak peek is available in 12 languages, 13 if you count Chinese Simplified and Chinese Traditional individually. The list: That’s more than twice the number of languages offered for February’s Consumer Preview, which came in just English, Chinese, French, German and Japanese. Any machine running Windows XP or later. Sorry Windows 98 holdouts.

As with the Consumer Preview, though, the only true upgrade — meaning it brings along all programs, settings, user accounts and data files — is from a system running Windows 7. On a Vista machine, Windows 8 retains settings, user accounts and data files, but not applications. It’s a partial upgrade. From XP, Release Preview migrates only user accounts and files. In one sense there’s no upgrade path from either the Developer Preview or Consumer Preview of Windows 8 — Microsoft says it’s a “clean install” in that nothing, absolutely nothing, is saved — but you should be able to retrieve files, like documents and images, by rooting through the “Windows.

Just as with the Consumer Preview, no you don’t, at least if you use Setup to download and install. You will, however, be asked for one if you install from a DVD or flash drive. The generic character key — it works for everyone — is: Can I uninstall it and get my PC back like it was? To return the PC to its pre-Windows 8 state, you must reinstall the older operating system, and restore applications and data from a backup.

You did do a backup before upgrading, right? This is the single-most-likely snafu of the Release Preview. If you don’t believe us, just do a search for “uninstall Windows 8” and count the results.

Microsoft has tried to be clearer about that this time around by posting a caveat labeled “Important” on the download page. Users who need to reinstall Windows 7 after dumping Windows 8 can refer to Microsoft’s guide , or watch a video published by WinBeta last March. When does the Release Preview expire?

Like the Consumer Preview, on January 15, Starting from the expiration date, you may not be able to access any unsaved data used with the software. Any applications you receive through the Windows Store will also cease to be available to you in future versions, unless they are made available for re-download and you re-acquire them. You may not receive any other notice. Or, failing that — or a decision to not buy the operating system — you can reinstall the prior OS.

Has Microsoft listened to users who have complained about the disappearance of the Start button? Microsoft officials have said that they will include a tutorial to get users comfortable with the Start screen — and presumably, the omission of the Start button — but whatever Microsoft has planned isn’t in the Release Preview. Although the Windows Media Center will be a for-a-fee add-on to Windows 8 Pro — Microsoft hasn’t said how much — the company’s giving it away during the Release Preview period.

To install it, head to “Add features to Windows 8” and enter this product key: Is it any easier to use with a mouse and keyboard? The “hotspots” in the corners of the Windows 8 desktop seem to be more reliable, in that mouse movements to the lower left and lower right corners — for returning to the Start screen and pulling up the Charms menu — don’t need to be as precise as in the Consumer Preview.

The Release Preview also has added gesture support for trackpads, the kind embedded in most notebooks’ cases, according to Windows blogger Paul Thurrott. However, Thurrott reported that support for trackpad gestures — think of the kind that Apple offers on its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines — will be available only on new Windows 8 notebooks, and not likely to be supported by current Windows 7 laptops.

Trackpad support, though perhaps no replacement for a true touchscreen, could go a long way to quieting complaints about Windows 8’s Metro interface and its gesture-first UI. Microsoft says yes, but some users say no. Microsoft’s list of system requirements for the Release Preview is identical to what it published for February’s Consumer Preview: It’s as unrealistic in the real world now as it was then. But a thread on Microsoft’s support site shows that some people haven’t been able to run Release Preview on machines that were perfectly capable of managing the Consumer Preview.

I’m not buying a new PC just for Windows 8. Microsoft calls the NX technology “Data Execution Prevention,” or DEP, within Windows, where it’s used as a crucial part of the operating system’s anti-exploit portfolio. Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. His email address is gkeizer computerworld. Read more about windows in Computerworld’s Windows Topic Center. This story, “FAQ:

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VIDEO: How to change the Windows-8 and activation key to activate Win-8?

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