Yesterday in BUILD 2013 conference, Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 8.1 Preview which is now available for download as ISO image as well as an update from Windows Store. Windows RT devices have to update it from Windows Store only.
But before downloading and installing the latest preview build, you must know the pitfalls about it. In this post I am going to share some points for you. So, think before installing it now.
Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are pre-release versions of Windows 8.1 which is scheduled to release later this year. Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are not new operating system but just an update with enhancements in personalization, search, apps, Windows Store and cloud connectivity with the security and reliability features that you expect from Windows.
Yesterday in this blog post, I already mentioned the point “Is Windows 8.1 for me?” If you are an experienced professional and like to try out the latest OS and want to do some experiments with it, then go with the installation as an update to your existing Windows 8 or Windows RT installation. Be sure to take a backup of the current installation to a recovery media before proceeding with it.
Windows 8.1 Preview is a pre-release software, that means, it is still in the development stage. Though it is a stable build and Microsoft engineers have thoroughly tested it before this first release, but it is still an unfinished product and hence there could be bugs in it. Microsoft will not guarantee you for any loss or damage due to this installation.
It’s also important to note that the computers running Windows 8.1 Preview can be updated to the final release of the OS, but this update process will only migrate the data on the device. All desktop applications and metro applications (downloaded from Windows Store) will need to be reinstalled as part of this process. If you're running Windows RT in a tablet, you won't be able to restore Windows RT after you install the Windows RT 8.1 Preview. But once the final version comes up, you'll be able to upgrade to that RTM version of Windows RT 8.1.
Here is a table shared by Microsoft, which says about the things that will migrate to the later:
|Currently installed OS||Upgrading to OS||What will Migrate as part of the Process?|
|Windows 8||Windows 8.1 Preview||All data, settings, and applications|
|Windows 8||Windows 8.1 final release||All data, settings, and applications|
|Windows 8.1 Preview||Windows 8.1 final release||Only data|
If you don’t want to loose your settings and applications later but want to try out the Windows 8.1 Preview right at this moment, better try it out in a Virtual Machine installed in your local machine or Azure server. If you have the Azure license and MSDN license both, you will easily get a Virtual Machine hosted there with Windows 8.1.
In case you want to download the Windows 8.1 Preview, you can get the ISO image from here: Download Windows 8.1 Preview released during BUILD Conference.
The free Product Key shared by Microsoft to install Windows 8.1 from an ISO is: NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F