A client recently asked if we would install Windows 8 Consumer Preview on his primary computer. It’s important that everyone understand that Windows 8 is still in Beta and it may have a lot of bugs still to be worked out before it is for sale. It should not be installed on anything but a test machine.
To put it simply, Windows 8 Consumer Preview is not ready for prime-time. Here’s what Microsoft says on their web site:
We strongly recommend that only experienced PC users download Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Before you download the preview, you should weigh the pros and cons of installing software that’s still in development. If you install the preview release, you’ll get to try out the many new features, but you might also encounter errors that you wouldn’t encounter using a released version of Windows.
You should consider downloading the Windows 8 Consumer Preview only if all of the following apply to you:
You like to use the latest software and enjoy experimenting with new technology.
You’re comfortable backing up a PC, formatting a hard drive, and installing an operating system from scratch.
You feel comfortable troubleshooting PC problems yourself.
You don’t mind updating software frequently.
You have the installation or recovery media and the knowledge to restore your previous operating system after you’re done testing Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Are there risks to installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview?
Yes. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is stable and has been thoroughly tested, but it’s not the finished product. Your PC could crash and you could lose important files. You should back up your data and you shouldn’t test Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your primary home or business PC. You might also encounter problems like:
Software that doesn’t install or work correctly, including antivirus or security programs.
Printers, video cards, or other hardware that doesn’t work.
Difficulty accessing corporate or home networks.
Files that might become corrupted.
You should carefully balance the risks and rewards of trying out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview before you install it.
We will be running Windows 8 Consumer Preview on a test machine soon and will report out impressions. Stay tuned!