During the few hours that Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been publicly available, the maximum confusion that most users have come across is locating the product key for the latest iteration in Microsoft’s new operating system. This was rather different from what we saw with previous Developer Preview builds, where the installation of the OS proceeded without requiring any product key whatsoever. With Consumer Preview, users are rather stumped by the nagging dialog that halts the installation process until you provide a valid key. This is nothing to be bothered with, as you can easily get your own key by reading past the break.
Today, with the release of Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview, we are bringing you extensive coverage of all the new features in Microsoft’s latest operating system. This post is a part of our Windows 8 Week. To learn more, check out our complete coverage of Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Just as the ISO became live for download, we brought you the links for downloading Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a variety of languages, both in 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. It is most likely that you will come across the missing product key issue if you proceeded to download the ISO directly. One easy bypass would be to head to Microsoft’s official website for Windows 8 Consumer Preview and hit the Get it now button.
Then, on the next page, click the download link to grab the official Windows 8 Consumer Preview Installer (a mere 5MB download), run it and follow the instructions to get your own, unique product key.
For our readers, you may even use the public key shown in the image above. This key shall remain working until the next release of Windows 8 (the RTM version), and should work for both 32-bit and 64-bit installations, in all provided languages.
Update: Windows 8 Release Preview is now available for download. The official page has now been updated to show the product key. You may, alternatively, get the required key from this post of ours.
Update 2: Windows 8 has now reached its RTM (release to manufacturer) state, and has been around for over a month now. Overall user experience has changed somewhat, but nothing too drastic. There are, of course, lesser bugs now, but the OS is still far from perfect. Since the RTM isn’t a public beta, there are no free keys available for it; please don’t ask us for them, either. You need to either purchase a license through MSDN portal, or wait for the final (retail) release of the operating system that’s due on Oct. 26.