The next version of Windows – Windows 8 – is due for release and Microsoft has release a Developer Preview version that is available for public download. While this is free for anyone to use, there are a number of reasons why you may not want to go down this route. Downloading a large ISO file is not an option for everyone, and the process of getting the preview version of Windows 8 up and running can be tricky.
As Windows 8 is not yet a stable version of the operating system, it is unlikely that you will want to use it as you your main operating system. If you do not have spare computer to hand on which to install it, you will have to consider either setting up a dual boot system or using a virtualization system to test out the software in a virtual environment.
But there is an alternative in the form of Windows 8 Simulator Beta. This free software can be used to take a look at Windows 8 by installing just one small easy to use program – there is no need to replace or endanger your current Windows installation. The program runs as a virtual copy of Windows 8 in its own little window, enabling you to get a feel for the new look of the next version of Windows.
The simulator is a bit on the limited side, however. The Metro interface is present and correct as is the ability to browse the web, use Facebook and Twitter as well as a number of other tools. But there are no options for customization and you are only given a very broad overview of the way the operating system works. Still, it serves as a helpful introduction to the way your next computer may well look, and as it’s free of charge it is worth a look.