Windows 8 Developer preview was released in September 2011 . Now Microsoft has released a much more stable version of Windows 8- Yes the Consumer Preview of Windows 8. Consumer preview is a version which is released just before the commercial release. You can download the Windows 8 consumer preview in ISO format from Microsoft page. Users can test the programs and other hardware resources compatibility with the new version. Both 32 bit and 64 Bit versions are available.
Downloaded .iso image files are required to be burned to DVD or a USB flash drive. You can use the Windows Disc Image Burner (Windows 7 )for converting ISO images to DVD. This tutorial helps you to make a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 8 installation. Minimum hardware requirement for both the versions is 1 GHz processor, 1 GB RAM for 32 version and 2 GB RAM from 64 Bit version. 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit). As the file size is too big 3.3 GB and 2.5 GB for 64 Bit and 32 Bit version respectively, it is advisable to download through a download manager with resume support.
Direct Download links of Windows-8 Consumer Preview
64 Bit – 3.3 GB
32 Bit – 2.5 GB
Product Key: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J
Install Windows 8 on a virtual machine
Before going for a final install it is always good to test the OS in a virtual environment. You can go through the following tutorials on this topic
Windows 8 Consumer preview demo video