Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) unveiled the preview version of its Windows 8.1 operating system at the Build 2013 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. But, for those curious minds that want to try out the pre-release version of the updated OS, installing the new software involves some risks.
The company has warned PC users to be careful before downloading and installing Windows 8.1 Preview, as the software is still in the development phase.
“If you install the preview release, you'll get to try out the many new features, but you might also encounter errors that you wouldn't encounter using a released version of Windows,” Microsoft said, adding that after installing Windows 8.1 Preview, the PC might crash and users could lose important files.
Microsoft has made the Windows 8.1 Preview ISO files available for download from its website. And, according to the Redmond, Wash.-based tech behemoth, the latest software version includes enhancements in personalization, search, apps, the Windows Store, cloud connectivity, and security and reliability.
Here are some of the most likely issues, according to the company, to be encountered by users:
- Some software, such as antivirus or security programs, will not be installed or may not work correctly.
- Printers, video cards, or other hardware may not work.
- Users may face difficulty while accessing corporate or home networks.
- Some files may encounter unexpected damage.
Also, the PCs, which can be booted on using removable media that contains the downloaded ISO file, will not save the apps, Windows settings, or personal files when users update to Windows 8.1 Preview.
In addition, if users are updating from older versions like Windows XP or Windows Vista, they will not be able to keep any earlier data and will be forced to boot from removable media, and perform a clean install. But, users updating from Windows 7 will be able to keep their personal files intact.
As for uninstalling Windows 8.1 Preview, Microsoft has barred that option. However, restoring the entire system to its factory condition may be possible.
Users of Windows RT, the Windows 8 variant designed for mobile devices, lose out in this regard, because, according to Microsoft, devices running Windows RT won’t be restored after installing Windows RT 8.1 Preview. In such cases, users will have to wait for the final version of Windows RT 8.1.