So I have the x64 Consumer Preview and I'm basically liveblogging this install on my laptop as I put Win8 on my Core i5 system.
I put the ISO onto a bootable USB stick and disconnected all my other hard drives except for a spare 1 TB HD. I set my BIOS to boot the USB stick first, and disconnected the network cable.
First thing I noticed was a very un-encouraging intro screen that looked like a stylized fish + bubbles from a 1990s video game. I used the product key from GTech's review, and it worked fine. The colors look very flat and neutral, as though the OS were being run on a device with a limited palette. This would seem to back up the likelihood that this OS was originally aimed at phones with relatively small screens and a need for basic colors to avoid irritating the user.
At the hard drive partition manager available from the Custom install, I deleted the old partition and then made new ones fresh. I noticed that Win8 likes to make larger system reserved partitions than Win7 - Win7 typically takes ~100 MB but Win8 took ~350 MB total.
After a reboot, I manually reset the boot device order to get the USB drive set last, and then let it continue on. I picked the teal-blue background color and gave the machine a name. I chose to customize my settings, and turned off auto updates (I don't plan on using this OS for more than an hour or so) as well as the "check apps and files with SmartScreen" cause that sounds kinda a bit too intrusive.
Turned off the Windows Store web content and location-aware app switch, but left the remainder on.
Disabled Compatibility View as well as the app sharing info thing.
It won't let me get away without a password hint, but at least the strong password feature of 2008 isn't evident here
The interface continues to look rather minimalistic in art and function, again as if I were using a phone rather than a computer.
.... and that's it! I figure this install took maybe 20 minutes. I'm kinda meh about the reorganized interface. It's like I'm using an embedded app or an ATM kiosk or something with limited functionality where all the options the company thinks I'll need are already selectable and there's no obvious way to go beyond that.
Maybe more later.
Attached is one crappy pic of the fish thing, by the way.