Windows 8 System Requirements

Windows 8 works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 7:

• Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster

• RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

• Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

• Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver

Additional requirements to use certain features:
• To use touch, you need a tablet or a monitor that supports multitouch.
• To access the Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768.
• To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768.

From Windows 8 FAQ

How to install Windows 8 on VMware Player for free

Here is how to install Windows 8 as a virtual machine in VMware Player. This gives you an opportunity to test and try out the new OS experience and new features.

You will need to download VMware Player from http://www.vmware.com/products/player/ and download a 90 day trial of Windows 8 from http://windows.microsoft.com/is-IS/windows-8/download.

1. Install VMware Player
2. Open VMware Player and select “Create a New Virtual Machine”.
3. Select “Installer disc image file (iso) and click “Browse” then navigate to the location where Windows 8 ISO is downloaded/located, select it and click “Open”.
4. Click Next and insert the “Windows product key” if you have one; if you don’t have one just leave the fields empty and click “Next” and validate the prompt.
5. Type a new name for “Virtual machine name” or leave it as is.
6. Select the location of the virtual machine and make sure you have at least 16GB for the 32-bit Windows 8 and 20GB for the 64-bit Windows 8 free space in the selected location
7. Select “Store virtual disk as a single file” to keep the virtual HDD in a single file and optimize performance then click “Next”.
8. At the next screen click on “Customize Hardware…” go to “Memory” — Microsoft recommends a minimum of 1GB for 32-bit Windows 8 and 2GB for 64-bit Windows 8, but you should double the minimum requirements for a smoother operation.
9. At the “Processors” dialog box select the “Number of processor cores” available for your CPU.
10. Click “Close” then “Finish” to complete the virtual machine creation process and install Windows 8.

I have created a YouTube video of still images at each stage during the build which can be found at http://youtu.be/g3Z9xFOZFvM