Today Microsoft released the Windows 8 Release Preview which puts us one step closer to the final version of Windows 8. The Release Preview is considered to be code complete which means that everything is done and they are now just doing bug fixes. I installed both of the previous versions of Windows 8 onto my Acer Iconia W500 tablet and took some time to install the Release Preview today. The install was as smooth as ever and this time around all drivers were installed instead for the gyroscope. Here we have captured the install for those who own and want to install the Windows 8 Release Preview on the Acer Inconia.
USB Install Tool
I used Microsoft’s USB install tool to do my installs as I find it to be much faster than using DVD’s. This tool takes the .ISO image and puts it onto a USB drive and then makes it bootable for the install.
Boot Select On the Iconia
One of the options in the BIOS of the Acer Iconia is to use F12 to determine which device you want to boot from and that is what I did here.
Selecting the USB drive allows the install to begin
Installing Windows 8 Release Preview
One the install loads you start by selecting your language and keyboard options like a normal Windows Install.
On the next screen you just hit the big install now button.
Setup begins to load and then you must type in the Release Preview Key located on the download page
After typing in the key you will then have to accept Microsoft’s EULA
At this point you have the option to execute an upgrade or do an advanced install which is what I did to get a clean version.
On the Advanced install screen I went ahead and deleted the existing partitions and installed Windows 8 on the new available space
Immediately after choosing the partition the install begins to unpack all the files needed. This part took about five minutes however, the rest of the install when very quickly.
The features install went very quickly then after finishing up the Acer Iconia reboots
Configuring Windows 8 Release Preview
After the Acer Iconia reboots, it is time to run through the configuration of Windows 8 with the first thing being which color you want to use. This is the first thing you notice is different as there are way more colors that the previous versions.
Now you select your wireless network and put in the credentials for it.
Now we will run through a few screens of some basic settings you can take the express settings which take the basic options that Microsoft recommends.
I walked through the customized settings just to make sure I had what I wanted. The first group of settings are for protecting the machine with automatic updates and other options.
The next group of settings are about providing Microsoft with information to help improve Windows which are now off by default.
The final group of settings are about sharing data between apps and automatically checking online for solutions to problems.
At the end of the install it is really just signing into it with your Windows Live ID
If you don’t have a Live ID you can also create one at this time
If you have a previous existing ID, aster logging in you will be shown your security verification info which basically sends you a text message to add the device to your Microsoft Account
After hitting next, there are some final configurations that take a few seconds then your Metro UI will show up when it’s done and already start displaying your information just like Windows Phone.
The one thing that I really love is the fact that settings are synced between machines. Even though I just installed Windows 8 onto the Acer, flipping over to the desktop shows the same background image as on my Windows 8 laptop.
It was nice to see the majority of the drivers were installed without me having to get them. So far the majority of the changes seem subtle although the Release Preview seem to be running a lot smoother than the consumer preview but that could be just because of a fresh install. We will dig into the release more later however if you want to try out a decent tablet grab an Acer Iconia W500 and install Windows 8 on it.