Windows 8 Consumer Preview is available for download - I had a bit of a play with it yesterday - it's a complete doddle to install within Oracle VirtualBox (the latest version already has preset settings for Windows 8).
All you need to do is grab the relevant .iso and point your brand new virtual machine at it on first boot, and away you go.
Once Windows is installed, the feeling of setting up your particulars is somewhat similar to that of unboxing a smartphone, driven partly because of the new feature of signing in to your computer using an email address - you're very much guided towards using a Windows Live ID in order to benefit from Cloud services and whatnot - although you can opt to set up a local account if you go for a custom setup.
Like many have said, the Metro interface is begging to be touched, and while this makes for a great interface for tablets, I'm still not quite sure how well it would translate to the desktop, especially in an office environment.
But then again, I'm thinking about my current traditional desk setup - I'm wondering if the futurists at Microsoft have got anything Kinect-flavoured up their sleeves so we can live our sci-fi dreams of waving at our computers to
manage our windows interact with our tiles...Or maybe we'll see an influx of adaptable and cost-effect Microsoft Surface solutions apperaring on the market.
Metro is a bold, and I would argue forward-thinking, move on Microsoft's part. It will doubtlessly take some time for a geek like me to get used to the new interface, but get used to it I think I will, especially as devices start to catch up. And besides, there are already some decent freeware tools appearing that allow you to get all tweaky on the interface.
Right. I'm off to have another play.
Scribbled by Tom