Want to give Windows 8's new look a try? Starting tonight, you'll be able to download a Windows 8 developer preview release straight from Microsoft.
The Windows 8 preview code will be available as an ISO file at 8 p.m. Pacific time from Microsoft's developer website. You'll have a choice of 32-bit or 64-bit x86 builds, with or without developer tools. Sample apps -- a Twitter client, a Facebook client, games and more -- are also included.
Because this is prerelease code, a clean install is required. "It is not a beta release," Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky wrote in a blog post. "We will be updating the release with various quality updates and drivers over the coming weeks/months just to exercise our overall update and telemetry mechanisms."
Windows 8 is a major overhaul to Microsoft's PC operating system. It's designed with touchscreens in mind, launching into a Metro-style user interface with touch-friendly apps, but it also accommodates standard input devices. The traditional Windows desktop is represented as an app within the broader Windows 8 interface, and the preview build already supports Windows 7 applications.
For more on Windows 8, check out Jason Cross' hands-on preview of the developer build on a prototype tablet.