02/29/2012 09:58 am ET Updated Feb 29, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download: Microsoft Shows Off New OS; How To Try It Now

Five months after last sharing its progress on Windows 8, Microsoft took the stage at Barcelona's Mobile World Congress to reveal what had changed, what had been added, and what had been taken away in its radical new operating system for desktops and tablets.

Microsoft's President of Windows Division Steven Sinofsky was the main presenter in Barcelona, reporting that over 100,000 code changes had been made since the Developer's Preview arrived in September (per Engadget). Among the new features: A built-in music and video store for rentals and downloads (via AllThingsD); an improved interface that earned the praise of "slick" and "fluid" from those in attendance; an updated task manager; and better accuracy and functionality using a mouse and a keyboard.

As part of the presentation, Microsoft also announced that a "Consumer Preview" version of Windows 8 would become available for download for those who can't wait until the official release.

You can download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview here, though we'd only advise this for the technologically proficient. Be advised that if you want to go back to Windows 7 (or any previous operating system) afterwards, you'll need to reinstall from recovery or from the media that came with your PC.

Check out the slideshow (below) for an overview of the new features you can expect from Windows 8.

The 8 Windows 8 Features That Made Us Say 'Wow'(CLONED)