Microsoft has been showing if its upcoming Windows 8 operating system at its BUILD conference in California this week, and while I may be completely dedicated to my Mac, I can’t help but think Windows 8 looks pretty darn nice.
We’ve already showed you how to install the Developer Preview on a Boot Camp partition on your Mac, but there is an easier method for those of you who just want to play around. In this how-to, we’ll take you through the setup for installing Windows 8 in a virtual machine — in just four simple steps.
Step 1: Download Windows 8 Developer Preview
The first thing you’ll need, if you haven’t already got it, is the Windows 8 Developer Preview build. You can download this from dev.windows.com. You’ll have a choice between the 32-bit and 64-bit builds. I recommend you go for the former — it’s just 2.9GB as opposed to 3.6GB, and it’s all you’ll really need to play around with.
The Windows 8 download will be a .iso file, and will likely be saved to your ‘Downloads’ folder. However, be sure to keep a note of its location — you’ll need this in step 3.
Step 2: Download VMware Fusion 4.0
Once you have your Windows 8 Developer Preview, you’ll need an application to run the virtual machine. We’re going to use VMware Fusion for this for two reasons: Firstly, it’s the easiest to set up, and secondly, if you don’t already have it you can download a free 30-day trial.
VMware Fusion 4.0 launched just last week, and is completely compatible with OS X Lion. Once you’ve downloaded the application, install it on your Mac.
Step 3: Setup Your Windows 8 Virtual Machine
So, now you have your Windows 8 download and you’ve installed VMware Fusion 4. Open up VMware Fusion and choose to create a new virtual machine. Click the ‘Continue without disc’, and then ‘Choose a disk or disk image…’.
Step 4: Locate Your Windows 8 Download & Install
Navigate to your Windows 8 Developer Preview .iso file and click ‘Next’. VMware will now ask you to choose your operating system. Windows 8 will not be available, so just select Microsoft Windows 7 instead. Click ‘Continue’ and then click ‘Finish’ in the next window.
Now wait while VMware Fusion performs its magic and sets up your Windows 8 partition. This shouldn’t take too long, but it will depend on the speed of your Mac.
Your Windows 8 virtual machine will now be set up and ready for you to play around with. Enjoy!